Boston, MA – Jetpac yesterday called for the resignation of Jason Hamelin, current President of Malden Youth Soccer, after the Muslim civic engagement group learned of Hamelin’s xenophobic attacks on Danyal Najmi, a candidate for Malden City Council (see screenshots below). In 2017, City of Malden Mayor Gary Christenson appointed Hamelin to a city committee assigned to assist the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in updating Malden’s Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP).
Jetpac learned of the attacks through the Facebook page Malden News Network, who reported on an exchange between Hamelin and Neil Kinnon, former Malden City Councilor and President of the Mystic Valley Charter School, which was embroiled in racist controversy in 2017. In the exchange, Hamelin questioned if Najmi was a citizen, and added: “this deserves a call to the FBI. Could be a sleeper cell.”
“Hamelin has no business being in charge of a youth league of any kind, and his anti-Muslim bigotry has to be publicly called out by all Malden officials, inlcuding Mayor Gary Christenson, Ward 5 Councilor Barbara Murphy, State Senator Jason Lewis, and State Representatives Paul Donato and Steven Ultrino,” said Mohammed Missouri, Executive Director of Jetpac. “Islamophobia is on the rise in Massachusetts, and the American Muslim community needs allies to step up proactively. Local and state officials need to hold forums where they talk about the danger of hate speech against all marginalized people.”
Reported incidents of racism in U.S. sports is on the rise, according to Richard Lapchick of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports. In addition, FBI statistics show that nationally, hate crimes are up for the third straight year, based on 2017 data (2018 data is not yet available). In 2016, Massachusetts had the highest rate of reported hate crimes in the country, and 427 incidents were reported in 2017, the most since 2003 and a ten-percent increase from 2016.
These statistics are consistent with a 2019 CAIR-MA report that found the organization received 232 requests in 2018 for legal assistance for civil rights cases related to harassment, hate crimes, travel abuses, and discrimination in employment, housing, and education, an increase from the account of similar cases in 2017.
Executive Director, Jetpac