‘Who’s next?’ Fear Spreads in American Muslim Community Amid Murders | News on Islamophobia
A series of murders of Muslim men in New Mexico has sent a wave of fear through Muslim communities across the United States.
Authorities identified the fourth victim on Monday and have not ruled out the possibility that the murders of several Muslim men in the city of Albuquerque may be linked.
Three of the killings took place in the past week and authorities said the race and religion of the victims were common factors. “Investigators believe Friday’s murder may be linked to three recent murders of Muslim men also from South Asia,” police said. Police have asked residents to help find a vehicle they believe is linked to the murders.
“I am angry and saddened by the horrific murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque,” Biden said on Twitter Sunday. “Pending a full investigation, my prayers go out to the families of the victims and my administration strongly supports the Muslim community. These hateful attacks have no place in America.
I am angry and saddened by the horrific murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. Pending a full investigation, my prayers are with the families of the victims and my administration stands firmly with the Muslim community.
These hateful attacks have no place in America.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 7, 2022
Naeem Hussain was killed Friday night, and ambush shootings have killed three other Muslim men in the past nine months. The killings have become a source of fear for Muslims across the United States, who have faced racism, discrimination and violence.
“The fact that the suspect is still at large is terrifying,” Debbie Almontaser, a New York Muslim community leader, wrote on Twitter. “Who’s next?!”
Hussain, 25, was from Pakistan. His death came shortly after those of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Aftab Hussein, 41, also from Pakistan and members of the same mosque.
The first case took place in November and involved the murder of Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, from Afghanistan.
Aneela Abad, general secretary of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said the community was “completely shocked” by the killings, and that Islamic community centers have increased security.
Edward Ahmed Mitchell, deputy director of the Muslim civil rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said Muslim communities in the United States would respond to the killings with “vigilance, heightened caution, resilience”.
CAIR has offered a $10,000 reward to the person who provides information to law enforcement leading to the killer’s arrest.
The same vehicle is believed to have been used in all four homicides – a dark gray or silver four-door Volkswagen that appears to be a Jetta or a Passat with tinted windows, police say. Authorities released photos asking people to help identify the car and offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“We have a very, very strong bond,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said Sunday. “We have a vehicle that interests us… We need to find this vehicle.”
If you have any information about this vehicle relevant to the murder of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, please contact Albuquerque Crime Stoppers at 505-843-STOP (505-843-7867) or https://t.co/86w3giuqkW
This community deserves justice, and we must deliver it and we will deliver it. https://t.co/N6r1Uez0vK
— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) August 7, 2022
State Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement Aug. 6 that additional law enforcement resources were being made available for the investigation.
“We will not stop in our pursuit of justice for the victims and their families and we are doing everything we can to apprehend the killer(s),” the statement said. “And we will find them.”
Lujan Grisham also offered his support to the Muslim community in the state. “We will continue to do whatever we can to support the Muslim community in Albuquerque and Greater New Mexico during this difficult time,” she said. “You are New Mexicans, you are welcome here and we are on your side.”