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Moiliili man accused of attacking Muslims to appear for mental fitness hearing

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:40 a.m. HST, Aug 8, 2013

A mental fitness hearing will be held today for the 24-year-old man who is accused of terrorizing fellow Muslims in the Moiliili-Manoa area in May.

Jamal Morris had been scheduled to be arraigned at Circuit Court on May 31 on a first-degree attempted-assault charge, a felony charge that carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Morris is accused of attacking Maseeh Ganjali on May 15 while Ganjali sat in his truck on University Avenue. Police said Morris tried to gouge Ganjali’s right eye, bit him and hit him repeatedly on his face after Ganjali gave him a ride from a Manoa Valley mosque.

However, Circuit Judge Richard Perkins ordered Morris to undergo an examination to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Morris has been committed to the state hospital while undergoing psychological examinations since May.

His fitness hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. before Perkins.

Ganjali said Morris had been threatening members of the Muslim community, most of whom are members of the mosque in Manoa.

Morris was out on bail after he allegedly doused Musa Bangura, 37, also a fellow Muslim, with vodka and tried to ignite the alcohol with a lighter at a McCully restaurant on May 11. Bangura is the treasurer of the Muslim Association of Hawaii.

Following the two attacks in May, Muslim Association of Hawaii Chairman Hakim Oansafi filed a temporary restraining order request in state court against Morris. He said he bases his fear on a telephone call Morris made to another man on May 16 when Morris was in the Queen’s Medical Center’s psychiatric ward.

In the call, Oansafi, who is also Hawaii Public Housing Authority executive director, said, Morris named him as his next target and justified his previous attacks.

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