At a memorial service for Khashoggi in the US capital city on Monday, Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington, told the gathered crowd he thought the best way to both honor his late friend and shame the government believed to have killed him would be to rename the street where the Saudi embassy sits after Khashoggi.
"We are petitioning for the roundabout in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington to be named after Jamal Khashoggi," Awad said, according to the Washington Post. "I want you to start a petition, that in every street and every city where there is a Saudi embassy or a Saudi mission, demand that it will be renamed after him."
"Imagine if their mail had to be addressed to Khashoggi Way?" Awad later mused. "That their business cards included such an address?"
The road in question is a roughly 550-foot-long section of New Hampshire Avenue NW squeezed between the Watergate Hotel and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the city's Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
An online petition is now circulating for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser to rename the section of New Hampshire Avenue in question to "Jamal Khashoggi Way." When this story was published Wednesday afternoon, the petition had about 1,600 signatures. The organizers of the petition come from very different political persuasions: Michael Werz, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Gary Schmitt, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, the Post reported.
Schmitt told The Post, a paper for which Khashoggi wrote, that his intention was to "troll the Saudis for their unconscionable behavior," according to the paper.
Streets in Washington have been renamed in the past for slain critics of foreign governments. Earlier this year, the city council renamed a section of Wisconsin Avenue NW, in front of the Russian Embassy, to "Boris Nemtsov Plaza" after the Russian politician who was gunned down on a Moscow bridge in 2015.
Khashoggi was killed on October 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he had gone to obtain necessary papers for his upcoming wedding. While the Saudis have denied ordering his death, they acknowledge that the journalist, who fled the country last year, died in an altercation with several men inside the consulate building, an incident Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir described as a "rogue operation." The Turkish government, however, maintains that Khashoggi was assassinated by a hit squad sent from Saudi Arabia specifically for the task.
The Saudi public prosecutor found last week, however, that Khashoggi's murder had been orchestrated in advance.
On Wednesday, Turkish public prosecutor Irfan Fidan said in a statement that Khashoggi was "strangled as soon as he entered the consulate" in line with "premeditated plans… After being strangled, [Khashoggi's body] was subsequently destroyed by being dismembered, once again confirming the planning of the murder," he continued.