For years, the Jabara family says, their Tulsa neighbor terrorized them. He called them names — “dirty Arabs,” “filthy Lebanese,” they said. He hurled racial epithets at those who came to work on their lawns, they alleged. He ran Haifa Jabara over with his car and went to court for it. And it all came to a head last week when the man, Stanley Vernon Majors, walked up to the front steps of the family home and shot and killed Khalid Jabara, police said. “The frustration that we continue to see anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, xenophobic rhetoric and hate speech has unfortunately led up to a tragedy like this,” it said. These are tense times for Muslim-Americans — and those perceived to be Muslims. (The Jabaras are Christians of Lebanese descent.) Ever since the Paris attacks, carried out by extremists hiding behind religion, xenophobic bile has poured out. Then came San Bernardino, and after it anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Trump campaign, and a steady stream of hateful incidents came rolling in. What makes the Jabara case stand out is authorities had several opportunities to intervene, but appeared to have bungled, the family believes. “This is troubling at any time, but profoundly disturbing given the current climate of our country and the increase nationally in cases of hate crimes,” the family said.
And there’s this, about the victim’s upcoming funeral:
The pastor of an Orthodox Christian church in Tulsa, Okla., said the funeral this week for a slain Lebanese-American member of his flock will focus on faith and avoid politics. The Rev. George Eber of St. Antony Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church told the Tulsa World that the service for Khalid Jabara will be a traditional and typical one for the denomination: long, with chanting, readings from Scripture and brief words from him on the life of the deceased. “We will avoid all politics,” Eber told the newspaper. “We will keep demonstrators off of our property.”