The ‘execution style’ death of three young African American Muslims whose bodies were found in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Friday 26th February has caused widespread outrage, condemnation and an outpouring of grief within the Muslim community in America.
A year on from the horrific murders of Deah, Yusror and Razan, the deaths of Mohamed Taha Omar (23) Adam K. Mekki (20) and Muhamnad A. Tairab (17) are all too familiar and heartbreaking for a community still coming to terms with the senseless murders of 3 young activists only a year ago.
With the ever increasing rise of Islamophobia and Muslim hate crimes in America clearly evident and with political rhetoric from certain individuals feeding into this narrative, the death of these 3 young Muslim men in such a brutal manner seems an almost inevitable circumstance of such constant, hate filled sentiments.
The Muslim community in America were quick to point out the lack of media coverage around this story and have since come together on social media outlets to voice their concerns and share in the grief through viral campaigns such as the hashtag #OurThreeBrothers which shares its similarities with the ‘OurThreeWinners’ tag and calls on bringing about justice for those murdered and encourages the community to help the families of the victims as best they can.
The religious leadership in America has also come together over the last few days as a unified voice to send their condolences to the families of the victims and have shared their thoughts on the need for Muslims to continue to campaign against hate, racism and bigotry, to continue putting pressure on mainstream media outlets for the disproportionate manner in which some crimes are reported and to remind their communities of the importance of making continuous dua for those that have suffered the most.
Shaykh Omar Suleiman posted on his Facebook page:
“I’d just like to remind everyone to be productive with their tweets and posts on this issue. Let’s focus our attention on mainstream media for not covering the killings, demand a thorough investigation from the police department, and of course make Dua for the grieving families. No matter what the motive turns out to be, those families lost their children and need our prayers and support.”
Imam Khalid Latif posted on his Facebook page:
“Some said I shouldn’t jump to assume it was a hate crime while others said meeting hate with hate isn’t a solution but just adds to the problem. I am not sure exactly where I stated this was a hate crime and I surely don’t see how any sense of compassionate anger that I have for the murders of three young people can be confused with hate. If your discomfort with the realities of inequity that black people face in this country every day lead you to a place of unease, you should really think about why that is. You should also ask yourself why you’re uncomfortable with me simply asking people to pray for three young souls that were taken from this world.#OurThreeBoys should find a place in all of our hearts – whether we are black, Muslim, or otherwise.”
As of today, we are seeing more and more commentators pick up and report on this tragic story and we have also seen the creation of support pages for the families of the victims. One such page encourages the community to sign a petition demanding the police force are thorough in their investigation which can be accessed here.
We continue to pray for the families of the victims at this most difficult time and pray that justice is done swiftly and effectively. We must heed the words of Shaykh Omar Suleiman and remember that irrespective of the motive of the killings, the families have still suffered a tragic loss and need as much support as they can get.