Georgia’s Muslim community has joined Muslims across America in reacting to the “execution-style” kiling last week of three young black men in Indiana. All of the victims were reportedly Muslim refugees from Sudan.
The local police have yet to arrest a suspect, nor is there yet any evidence that race or religion motivated the attack. But given the recent rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes, many American Muslims fear that the murders may have been a hate crime.
Imam Arshad Anwar, Imam of the Roswell Community Masjid
The amount of violence in our nation is absolutely unbelievable. Added to the long list of victims of violence and hate are the names of Adam Mekki, Mohamedtaha Omar, and Muhannad Tairab. It is still unclear what happened that led to this horrible tragedy. However, whatever may have happened, our prayers need to be focused on them and their families. We should also beseech Allah to make it known who was behind this and why. This is important for the families to have closure and for the authorities to be able to recognize the problems that lead to such violence. We must be patient until we know all the details and we must put our combined efforts towards tackling the reasons behind such violence.
To me, how the world will react to the murder of these three young black men is going to be indicative of our situation today. Do we, non-black Muslims, recognize Muslims of color as authentically Muslim and do we acknowledge that their lives do matter? The murder of these young people was a grave injustice that affects all Muslims and Americans. They are not the first black Muslims to be ruthlessly murdered. But today we have to decide, will we acknowledge Muslims at the intersections, Muslims who have a variety of identities, or will we continue to sweep racism under the rug? Will we now realize that Islamophobia and racism are not mutually exclusive? Will we now realize that eradicating anti-Muslim discrimination must be rooted in anti-racism?
Today, Muslims everywhere will answer that question. Each individual Muslim will have to make a decision for him or herself: will I demand justice for their murder and stand against racist and anti-Muslim hatred, or will I stay silent and continue denying institutional and systemic racism? We must ask ourselves. Which will it be?
It is times like this when the Muslim community's true colors show. Will we rally for our brothers? Will we demand a full investigation? Curious to see which organizations and mosques speak out about this. The race issue always looms in the back of my mind. I hope the community can prove me wrong.
Since I heard about the shooting in Fort Wayne, I've had this knot in my stomach while waiting for more updates. I'm frustrated by the lack of coverage, and frankly, apathy from the larger community. Although we don't know why this happened, it should not keep us from questioning and showing outrage that it did happen. My heart goes out to the Fort Wayne community and I pray for justice for #OurThreeBoys.
Edward Mitchell, Executive Director of CAIR Georgia
Was this horrific act of violence a hate crime? Maybe. Maybe not. We should not jump to conclusions. But the fact that Islamophobia would be a perfectly reasonable explanation says a lot about the problem that Muslim-Americans face. We’re being squeezed from two directions. On one side are the un-Islamic extremists who give Islam a bad name. On the other side are the anti-Muslim bigots who seek to do the same.
If an anti-Muslim extremist did indeed kill these young men, Muslims should deliver this message to the shooter: Islam was here before you, and Islam will be here after you. Get over it. You can harass us on the streets, vandalize our mosques, or even try to kill us, but you will fail in the end, one way or another. Muslims literally helped build this country, and we will continue working to save it from the people who seek to destroy it, including you...God willing/insha Allah.
“They want to extinguish God's Light with their mouths, but God will allow nothing except the perfection of his Light, even though the disbelievers hate (it).” Meaning of Quran, 9:32.
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