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Leading Muslim civil rights group calls for justice over 'modern-day lynching' of unarmed black jogger

Ahmaud Arbery's fatal shooting has rocked America [Twitter]

Date of publication: 8 May, 2020

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A leading American Muslim civil rights group has called for the immediate arrest of two men who allegedly shot Ahmaud Arbery, 25, as he jogged through his neighbourhood in Georgia.
The Georgia chapter of the largest US Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation called on Thursday for the immediate arrest of two men who allegedly shot unarmed black man Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged through his neighbourhood in the southern state.

The Georgia office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) also criticised the "overdue" decision by the District Attorney Tom Durden to convene a grand jury to bring charges against the two suspects.

The group requested the state use the full force of the law to prosecute the father and son, in a case which has rocked the country.

Arbery was fatally shot on 23 February while running through the Georgia neighbourhood of Brunswick. Suspects Gregory and Travis McMichael allegedly followed the 25-year-old in their pick-up truck, suspecting him to be the perpetrator of a recent break-in.

In that footage, Arbery is seen running down the middle of a residential street and approaching a white pickup truck that is stopped in the right lane with the driver's side door open and a man standing in the back.

The 36-second video shows Arbery trying to get around the truck as it crosses in front of it from the right, but is confronted by a second man holding a shotgun. An altercation ensues as Arbery and this man struggle, and the black man is shot once, then once more a few seconds later.

Despite video evidence, neither suspect has been charged or arrested until now.

Khwaja added that Georgia's Muslims were "dismayed and infuriated but not surprised" by the footage showing the "modern-day lynching" of Arbery.

"We strongly condemn this racist act of unjustified murder, which is part of a pattern of violence rooted in the historic subjugation of African-American men and women. We join the call for the arrest of the two suspects prior to the convening of the grand jury," he said.

“These dangerous episodes targeting the African-American community are not unique, but rather are symptomatic of the racism that instills fear and distrust within our communities. It is long past time for law enforcement to take such crimes seriously,” he added.

CAIR-Georgia Executive Director Abdullah Jaber expressed disappointment over the delay in the release of the video and prosecutorial action.

"While we cannot replace the promising life that was taken from us, we can ensure justice for Ahmaud’s family,” he said.

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