Statement on South Carolina Church Shooting

Muslim Advocates extends its deepest condolences to the families and community affected by the horrific and deadly shooting at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Given the epithets allegedly hurled at the congregants by the assailant before he opened fire, it is strongly suggestive of a hate crime.  Muslim Advocates commends Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the U.S. Department of Justice for its swift response to the tragedy by opening a hate crime investigation.  Sadly, this is yet another reminder of the need to increase law enforcement attention to and resources for hate crime prevention and prosecutions, and to begin a serious national conversation about hate and violence directed at communities based on religion and race.