Albuquerque Disturbed by Potential Hate Crime Killing of 4 Shia Muslim Men 


By Jazmine Colon

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — “Although we are waiting to learn more about these crimes, we are disturbed by early indications that the alleged killer may have been targeting particular members of the Shia community.” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad about the shooting deaths of four New Mexico Muslim men earlier this week.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has been a leading actor in the arrest of a suspect in the deaths of the four members of the Shia Muslim community that began last November. The last three murders were committed in the past two weeks.

CAIR offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the murders. The organization also called on the Biden administration to directly address the situation.

Awad explained “acts of hateful, sectarian violence against followers of the Shia tradition and any other group have no place in our communities, our country, or anywhere else.”

President Joe Biden has since responded stating that “hateful attacks of such kind” have no place in the U.S.

On Tuesday evening Albuquerque police chief Harold Medina announced that they apprehended the suspect after tracking down a vehicle they believe was involved.

“We welcome the arrest of a suspect in this horrific shooting spree and we commend law enforcement for their efforts at the local, state and federal levels. We hope the news that this violence has been brought to an end will provide the New Mexico Muslim community some sense of relief and security,” Awad said.

Investigators revealed the first victim killed last November was from Afghanistan. The three most recent victims were from Pakistan and went to the same mosque the suspect attended.

The investigators assume that the attacks were motivated by personal conflict. Albuquerque police did not comment on reports that the suspect may have targeted victims because he was upset that his daughter married a Shia Muslim.

“If this is true, it is completely unacceptable, and we encourage law enforcement to file any appropriate hate crime charges against the suspect,” expressed Awad, adding, “American Muslims are and must be united against all forms of hateful bigotry, including anti-Shia bias.”


About The Author

Jazmine Colon is an undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Chicano Studies. She is interested in legislative and government matters for both private and public interests. Post graduation, Jazmine plans to attend law school and continue advocating for social justice and equitable public policy.

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