Indiana authorities are investigating the case of three young Muslim men who were found shot to death in a Fort Wayne house last week in an “execution-style” slaying.
The bodies of 23-year-old Mohamedtaha Omar, 20-year-old Adam Kamel Mekki and 17-year-old Muhannad Adam Tairab were discovered by officers responding to a “problem unknown” dispatch. Each victim was reportedly shot multiple times and the police believe the murders would have been “hard for one person to commit” alone.
Although the coroner’s office has ruled the deaths as homicide, the lack of media coverage on the incident has prompted people to ask if the murders were actually hate crime. The young men were members of Sunni sect and either belonged to Sudan or Chad.
Anti-Islam sentiments have been on a rise in the United States for the past few months following the terror attacks in Paris, France and, later, San Bernardino, California. Muslims all across the nation are being demonized because of the acts of a few halfway across the world. Therefore, it’s only natural the “slayings” have left people wondering if it’s another act of violence against a particular faith or nationality.
“Hopefully, you know, we’ll be able to focus in on exactly what the reason was, but as I said before, no reason to believe this was any type of hate crime, or focused because of their religion or their nationality whatsoever,” said Fort Wayne’s public safety director Rusty York.
He also went on to say the building where the men were killed was something of a "party house" used by local youths. However, the police clarified there was no known connection to gangs or any other violent organization.
Despite all the assurances, many took to social media to express their outrage and mourn the young men.
The hashtag #OurThreeBoys has also surfaced on Twitter.
We want a full/complete investigation of the Fort Wayne shooting 3 Muslim boys! Don't assume "gang related activity", we want facts!— Debbie Almontaser (@DebbiAlmontaser) February 27, 2016
When Muslims are suspects, "terrorism" is assumed as motive. When Muslims are victims, it's a different story https://t.co/P3hFCVGLZd— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) February 28, 2016
May Allah give #OurThreeBoys jannah and forgive all their shortcomings. Ameen.????????— Simba DeRozen (@DeRozenDontCare) February 28, 2016
“‘Execution Style’ and the word ‘Muslim’ have certainly been forever ingrained in the minds of A merican Muslims and they trigger painful images of 3 beautiful souls lost for simply being Muslim,” Ahmed Abdelmageed, director of experiential education at Manchester University’s college of pharmacy, wrote on Facebook. “I caution however that the reason does not appear to be related to them being Muslim.”
While Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has yet to publicly comment on the young men’s deaths, a Muslim online activism group MPower Change has already started a petition calling for the authorities to "conduct a full and comprehensive investigation" of the killings.
The Fort Wayne murders come one year after the notorious Chapel Hill shooting, where three young Muslims were gunned down outside their home in North Carolina.