Jewish and Muslim Groups Ask for Investigation of Possible Hate Crime against MSU student

Jewish and Muslim Groups Ask for Investigation of Possible Hate Crime against MSU student

ADL Horrified by Alleged Anti-Semitic Hate Crime at Michigan State University

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed outrage and horror at an alleged anti-Semitic hate crime against a student at Michigan State University.  The student was knocked unconscious and had his mouth stapled shut by two men at a party, after the men allegedly asked the student if he was Jewish, chanted “Heil Hitler” and gave the Nazi salute.

        ADL has spoken to the parents of the victim, Zachary Tennen, a sophomore, and has been in contact with local law enforcement and university officials since first learning of the assault, which took place in the early morning hours of August 26 and reportedly was witnessed by other students.  Tennen sustained a broken jaw and other injuries and was hospitalized following the assault.

        “We are horrified by this violent assault and allegations that the student may have been viciously attacked because he was Jewish,” said Betsy Kellman, ADL Detroit Regional Director.  “We are confident that the East Lansing Police will thoroughly investigate this deeply troubling case and, given the allegations, treat it as a possible hate crime.  We hope the perpetrators will be swiftly brought to justice.”

        For decades, ADL has spearheaded efforts to ensure that local, state and federal law enforcement have important tools to combat bias-motivated crime.  In 1981, ADL drafted model hate crimes legislation covering all hate crimes.  Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have since enacted laws based on or similar to the model, which was unanimously found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993.

        The League led a broad coalition effort in support of the 2009 enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act - the most important comprehensive and inclusive federal hate crimes enforcement law in 40 years.

CAIR-MI Asks Feds to Probe Hate Crime Against Jewish Student

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) today called for a federal probe into a recent hate crime allegedly targeting a Jewish student of Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing.

On Sunday, MSU sophomore Zachary Tennen was reportedly assaulted by two men after being asked if his parents are Jewish. Tennen suffered a broken jaw and was stapled in the backside of his bottom teeth after the assailants reportedly chanted “Heil Hitler!”

The East Lansing Police are currently investigating the assault as an act of ethnic intimidation.

“We condemn this apparent hate attack and call on federal law enforcement to intervene in the investigation of this case,” said CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid.“There is absolutely no justification for anyone to be assaulted based on ethnic or religious affiliation.”

Walid noted that Michigan contains numerous White supremacist and extremist Christian identity groups, referencing statistics from the Southern Poverty Law Center.


East Lansing police say assault on MSU student likely not a hate crime

‘I’ve never heard of anything so horrific’ (Detroit Free Press)

Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Map of Michigan