Religion Unplugged

Fear, shock, questions follow the fatal shootings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

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First, fear.

Then, shock.

Now, questions. Lots of questions.

The Muslim community in Albuquerque, New Mexico — and even nationwide — has dealt with a gamut of emotions since news broke this past weekend of the fatal shootings of four of their own.

“These hateful attacks have no place in America,” President Joe Biden said Sunday amid speculation the deaths might be tied to Islamophobia.

The latest in the string of killings came last Friday. The next day, Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina characterized the shootings as “disturbing” and said police had reason to believe they were related.

“We’re in fear for the safety of our children, our families,” Ahmad Assed, the president of the Islamic Center of New Mexico, said Saturday, as reported by the Wall Street Journal’s Sara Randazzo. “This is a very troubling time for all of us.”

But then Tuesday brought relief mixed with shock, as the Albuquerque Journal’s Elise Kaplan explains: Authorities charged an Afghan refugee named Muhammad Syed — a Muslim himself — in the homicides of Aftab Hussein, 41, on July 26 and Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, on Aug. 1.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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