In light of the heinous shooting of three young Palestinian students in Burlington, Vermont, Majlis Ash-Shura: Islamic Leadership Council of New York stands in solidarity with the victims and their families and unequivocally condemns this act of violence, which is suspected to be a hate crime.
The victims, Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdel Hamid, and Tahseen Ahmed, were targeted in an act of unspeakable brutality. Two of them were wearing the keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian heritage, and speaking Arabic at the time of the attack. This incident occurred amid a worrying rise in anti-Islamic and antisemitic incidents in the United States, particularly following recent conflicts in the Middle East. It is a stark reminder of the dangers that members of our community face simply for their ethnic and religious identity.
Majlis Ash-Shura emphasizes the urgent need for a thorough investigation by authorities to determine the motive behind this attack and to bring the perpetrator to justice. We join the victims’ families in urging that this shooting be investigated as a hate crime.
This tragic event highlights the ever-present threat of bigotry and violence that Muslims, Arabs, and particularly Palestinians face in a climate of increasing intolerance and hatred. We call upon our leaders, community members, and all people of conscience to stand against such hate and to work together to foster a society where diversity is celebrated, and all can live without fear of violence or discrimination.
Majlis Ash-Shura extends its deepest sympathies to the families of Hisham, Kinnan, and Tahseen and prays for the speedy recovery of the injured. We stand committed to supporting the victims and their families during this challenging time and will continue to advocate for justice and safety for all communities.
We urge all members of our community to remain vigilant and to report any incidents of hate or discrimination. Together, we must continue to build bridges of understanding and peace, opposing hatred in all its forms.
Majlis Ash-Shura remains steadfast in its commitment to advocate for the rights and safety of Muslims in New York and across the nation.
Abdelhafid Djemil, PhD
Majlis Ash-Shura – Islamic Leadership Council of New York