Washington, DC — Yesterday, the Albuquerque police announced that 51-year-old Muhammad Syed has been arrested and charged for the murders of at least two Muslim men in and around Albuquerque, NM. Four Muslim men have been found dead in the area since November. News reports suggest the man may have been motivated by hate against Shia Muslims. At least three of the four killed were Shia Muslims and the most recent killings happened as Shias prepared to commemorate the significant Islamic date of Ashura.
The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Co-Interim Executive Directors Farah Brelvi and Asifa Quraishi-Landes:
“We are shaken by the devastating violence in Albuquerque and send our condolences to the Muslim communities of Albuquerque and the families of Mohammad Ahmadi, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, Aftab Hussein and Naeem Hussain in particular. As we mourn, we are also deeply mindful of the preliminary reports of sectarian motives behind these heinous acts; this tears at the fabric of the Muslim community and is a particularly cruel reminder that building inclusivity, safety and understanding within and between our communities could not be more urgent or consequential. We stand firmly against anti-Shia hate and strongly support Shia communities.
American Muslim communities are strengthened by our diversity. We come from all walks of life and our unique experiences and perspectives enrich ourselves, our families and our communities. We resist hate and identity-based violence in all its forms. In the wake of these horrific murders, we call for solidarity with the families of the victims, with our Shia brothers and sisters and with all people.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.