Man shouting ‘anti-Muslim slurs’ fatally stabs two men in Portland

Two men were fatally stabbed in Portland, Oregon on Friday after they came to the aid of two women who were being harassed because they appeared to be Muslim, police said. On Saturday, Portland police named the suspect as Jeremy Joseph Christian and said he was being held without bail at the Multnomah County jail. The 35-year-old, a known white supremacist according to a report by the Portland Mercury , was booked on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree, and one count of felon in possession of a restricted weapon. He could face additional charges after the case is presented to a grand jury. He is due to be arraigned on Monday.
In a statement, Portland police said the attacker shouted ethnic and religious slurs at the women on a commuter train at the Hollywood transit station. Witnesses told police that the two young women were possibly Muslim. One wore a hijab. Three men who intervened were stabbed, two fatally, and Christian was arrested shortly after he got off the train. The women left the scene before police could interview them. Portland police did not identify the suspect or the victims. The third victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
In a blogpost, the Mercury said Christian yelled racial slurs and repeatedly gave a Nazi salute at a rightwing march in April. Police confiscated a baseball bat he carried to the event, according to the post, which included video of the incident. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, who was flying to London when the crime occurred, said in a statement there is “too much hatred in our world”. “Now is the time, we must come together as a community and love one another,” Wheeler said. “We must reject hatred and violence. We must seek justice.”
The attack on Friday afternoon happened hours before the start of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, when most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims observe a religious fast. In a statement responding to the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) said anti-Muslim incidents in the US had increased by more than 50% from 2015 to 2016, which it blamed in part on Donald Trump’s focus on militant Islamist groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

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