Muslim Student Organization holds vigil for victims of Indiana killing

MSO member Rasheeq Nazim: “Things like this will really shed light on the fact that (Muslims) are all really in the same fight. We’re all the same in some regards.”
The Muslim Student Organization and supporters host a vigil in Speaker's Circle March 1 to honor the recent three killings of Muslims in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Members of the Muslim Student Organization and other students gathered in Speakers Circle on Tuesday evening to pay their respects to Muhannad Adam Tairab, Adam Kamel Mekki and Mohamedtaha Omar, whom they called their brothers.

The three young men were killed “execution-style” in Indiana last Friday. Two were Muslim and one was Christian. A spokesman for the Fort Wayne Police Department told CNN they were not considering the killing a hate crime and that the house where they were killed was associated with gang activity.

The vigil, which lasted seven minutes, began with a few short speeches and a moment of silence.

MSO member Rasheeq Nizam acknowledged that the motive of the killing was unknown, but he said he thought the killings were fishy, especially given the style of the murders.

“We held something similar last year with the Chapel Hill shooting, and it is just as important to have that and show that we care and that we support our brothers who were executed,” MSO freshman Maha Hamed said.

MSO members expressed frustration with what they saw as a delay in coverage by national media outlets. They also compared the response of the Muslim community with that from the Chapel Hill shooting, which they said was much greater. The victims of the Feb. 26 killing were of East African descent.

“In Islam, it states that there is no distinction between your skin color and your ethnicity, but in the community we tend to ignore that,” Ahmed said.

Nizam said he was happy to see unity in the community.

“The Muslim community is very diverse, and many people come from countries all over the world and all different ages,” he said. “Things like this will really shed light on the fact that we are all really in the same fight. We’re all the same in some regards.”

He said MSO stood against injustices due to Islamophobia or racism.

“I hope that (students who attended) see that the Muslim Student Organization is conscious of what’s going on and is against the double standards that exist within the Muslim community or within the greater community, and that we stand for justice,” he said.

Edited by Taylor Blatchford | tblatchford@themaneater.com

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