MINNEAPOLIS (Feb. 13, 2015) — The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN), today offers its sincerest condolences to the families of the three Muslim students killed in their homes in Chapel Hill, N.C., this week.
CAIR MN Executive Director Jaylani Hussein said “Our Muslim community in Minnesota is shocked and filled with sadness at this horrific attack on the innocent lives of Yusor Abu-Salha, Deah Barakat and Razan Abu-Salha”.
“Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims and to the local community.”
The rising anti-Muslim sentiment, Islamophobia, across the nation and internationally should not be protests at recent events in Garland, Texas and at the State Capitol in Austin. There have also been reports in the last two days of threats against Muslims.
This should not be happening, because this is America.
In this country we cherish freedom, justice and fairness. We are not perfect in establishing these; in the past, advocates for justice have fought hard, and continue to fight, bias and bigotry. At CAIR we continually fight for the civil rights of all Americans.
We hope that this tragic incident, in which three exemplary citizens were taken from us in a brutal manner, will be a starting point to examine why anti-Muslim bias exists and what we can do to live in brotherhood instead of fear or hatred.
Achieving that goal will require all of us to learn, to meet, and to have open-mindedness and kindness in our hearts. Muslims must strive to share their lives and beliefs with the larger community. People of other faiths must hear Muslims’ messages.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.