A family of three young Muslims have been shot dead in their home in a quiet neighbourhood of North Carolina in the US.
The victims were 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
Officers were called to reports of gunshots at 5.11pm at an apartment block largely housing academics and young professionals on Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill.
Craig Stephen Hicks is the man arrested on suspicion of three counts of first degree murder. Hicks described himself as an atheist on Facebook and posted regular images and text condemning all religions.
”There has not been the same outcry”
Imam Qari Asim expressed similar concerns.
He said: “There has not been the same outcry, media coverage or condemnation as there would have been if a Muslim had killed three individuals. Lack of coverage can mean that it is ‘normal’ for such event to take place.
“We have already had a murder take place in Birmingham; Mohammed Saleem was stabbed to death by a terrorist because he was a Muslim.
“Hatred, racism and Islamophobia cannot and must not be ignored. We must all unite to root out all forms of extremism from our world.”
”They are in our thoughts and prayers”
Mr Barakat had set up a fundraising page before he died that was raising money to provide dental care to Syrian children made refugees by the country’s civil war.
His wife was also reportedly tagged on a Facebook post that read: “Today we passed out dental supplies and food to over 65 homeless people in Raleigh! A big thank you to NC State MSA for sponsoring funds #DowntownSmiles.”
“These three Muslim community activists will continue to inspire many because of their community work. Their legacy is to continue feeding the homeless, helping the poor and striving to remove poverty from our society.”