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Muslims see Charlotte shooting as hate crime

Photo credit: photodune

Photo credit: photodune

OnIslam & News Agencies

CHARLOTTE, N.Carolina – Leaders of the Charlotte Muslim community have asserted that the shooting of 18 bullets at the backyard of a Muslim family’s home is more likely to be an intentional hate crime rather than a random act of violence.

“We strongly feel this was not a random shooting. Whose house gets shot at 18 times and it’s random?” Jilbril Hough with the Charlotte Islamic Center told WCNC.com on Wednesday, March 18.

Hough was speaking about the attack carried out by an anonymous man who shot 18 bullets into a Muslim family’s home fence in the eastern Mecklenburg County.

The attack occurred at about 1 am when shots struck the family’s rear security fence and back of the house.

One bullet went through a second-floor window, striking the wife of the homeowner in the thigh as she was sleeping, the homeowner told news reporters and photographers.

Police, however, did not specify if the attack was a hate crime until they arrest someone in the case.

Hough was speaking during a meeting for local Muslim leaders at the Islamic center to draw more attention and need for answers in the shooting.

With the homeowner’s wife shot in the leg, the Muslim community has been rallying behind the family, urging police authorities to investigate the shooting as a hate crime.

“Nobody does random shootings 18 times. Nobody does target practice in the middle of the night, right now, daytime, would be good time to do target practice,” said Hough.

“We aren’t saying we know what it is but we know by using common sense what doesn’t add up,” he added.

On the other hand, Police said it’s a serious offense no matter the motive, but the amount of shots fired is suspicious.

“It’s a factor absolutely, and it’s a compelling one at that and that’s one of the things we’re considering, of course, during the course of the investigation,” said CMPD Deputy Chief Jeff Estes.

The shooting is not the first to target American Muslims.

Last month, three young American Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23 his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21 and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were found dead at a condominium complex off campus.

The gunman, identified as 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, reportedly turned himself into police.

Another Muslim, Ahmed Al-Jumaili, 36, was shot dead while taking photos of snow in Dallas.

An Economist/YouGov poll found that a large majority of Americans believe that US Muslims are victims of discrimination amid recent attacks against the community.

Muslim speaks to Unitarians

CHARLOTTE,NC–In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of three Muslim students in North Carolina there has been an increase in interfaith activity in the area to better understand each other. In late February,the Unitarian Universalists Church invited Osama Idlibi to speak at a special service entitled “Wisdom from the World’s Religious Traditions: Islam in Charlotte.”

Idlibi is the president of the Muslim American Society of Charlotte.

According to the UU world portal Idlibi spoke about the essential message of Islam which is peace. “He talked about why he’s a Muslim, and his piety came out,” said a senior minister of the Church Rev. James Leach.

“He’s a deeply faithful man who’s deeply, deeply committed to and shaped by his Islamic faith.” Idlibi closed with a “beautiful personal credo,” Leach said, that expressed his devotion to justice, equality, “helping those in need,” and “the power of smiling.” As he finished, the congregations in both services “leapt to their feet with thunderous applause,” Leach said.

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Community News (V11-I33)

Muslim women’s shelter in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC–Sa’idah Sharif-Sudan, an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is starting a shelter for Muslim women in Charlotte. She had earlier started a shelter in New Jersey in 2003.

At a luncheon sponsored by the Domestic Violence Advocacy Council this week Sudan said the shelter, the first of its kind in Charlotte, would be officially would be launched in the coming months.

Sudan says she would also like to sensitize social workers to the needs of Muslims. “I’d like to educate the social workers, the police departments,” she said. “They don’t know much about the Muslim community and domestic violence.”

For starters, she said, it is important to keep in mind that domestic violence is not just a problem in the Muslim community.

“Domestic violence has no religion, no color, no face – it’s everywhere,” Sudan said. “If Muslim husbands beat their wives, they are not practicing what they say they believe (as Muslims). But neither are Catholics or Baptists when they beat their wives.”

Syed Muzzamil wins scholarship

SOMERVILLE,NJ–Syed Muzzamil is a recipient of the 2009 New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome’s 2009 Children’s Scholarship in the amount of $500. Muzzamil, who graduated from North Brunswick Township High School, was selected for his academic achievement, community service and accomplishments as an individual with Tourette Syndrome.

Muzzamil served as student government president; played varsity golf; participated in the Model U.N. program; was a member of the National Honor Society and was a member of his school’s robotics team. Muzzamil took part in the Robert Wood Johnson Mini-Medical Seminar and volunteered at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick, the physician office of Dr. Saleha Hussaidn and the Muslim Center of Middlesex County.

NJCTS congratulates Syed Muzzamil on his achievements and wishes him continued success in his academic and career endeavors.

The NJCTS Children’s Scholarship Award is given to outstanding high school seniors in the state of New Jersey who have excelled in their schools and communities in the face of living with Tourette Syndrome.

Miss. group gets initial OK for mosque

CANTON,Miss.–The Mississippi Muslim Association has been granted the initial permission required to build a mosque in the city of Madison. The county supervisors voted 3-2 for the zoning exemption. Opponents have fifteen days to appeal the decision.

The mosque when constructed will be called Magnolia Islamic Center. Muslim association spokesman Azzam Aburmirshid says more than 100 families who attend a mosque in south Jackson want to worship closer to their homes in Madison County, north of the capital city.

Before the mosque can be built, the Muslim association must show building plans to county officials. It also must verify water and sewer service are available.
Islamic school to open in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis private school to open

MINNEAPOLIS,MN–The Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center, the largest mosque in the state, will open a private school this fall.  The leaders of the project say the mosque will fight the ‘youth crisis’ among local Somalis by teaching students to embrace their unique identity.

The mosque has raised about $760,000 in private donations to help pay for the school.

The Islamic school is expected to open in September with classes for kindergarten and first grade, but the mosque hopes to expand the offerings as the school grows. In addition to core subjects such as math and English, the school will also offer classes teaching the Somali language and Islamic studies. “Iqra” means “read” in Arabic.

The renovated space will also house the mosque’s weekend Islamic school and summer programs.

The mosque needs to raise an additional $173,000 to pay for the project.

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