Muslims mourn and raise money for Colorado shooting victims
Muslim organizations are mourning and raising money for the victims of a mass shooting in the US state of Colorado which happened last Monday, when a 21-year-old man opened fire at a grocery store in the city of Boulder, killing 10 people.
The Colorado Muslim Leadership Council, an umbrella organisation of local Muslim associations, released a statement in solidarity with the survivors and the victims on Tuesday.
“Our hearts are heavy as we stand with the survivors of violence. We will continue to remember and grieve for the innocent victims of this horrific and senseless crime,” the statement read.
“We thank law enforcement for their bravery and commitment in apprehending the shooter. We call for the prosecution of the shooter to the fullest extent of the law.”
On its Facebook page, the council also encouraged people to donate and said its members were praying for those affected by the shooting.
The Islamic Center of Boulder, one of the largest mosques in the city, said “our hearts are broken for lives lost and for the grief suffered by an entire community.”
It launched a national fund-raising initiative to help the victims’ families under the slogan “Muslims unite for Boulder families.”
The fund raised over $16,000 in two days. “One thing I can say is that Boulder is a family,” El-Yacoubi said. “What [the shooting suspect] did is the direct opposite of everything our religion teaches us, which is compassion and mercy.”
The suspect in the shooting, Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa, is of Syrian origin but immigrated to the US as a toddler. He bought a weapon one week before the crime was committed.
Al-Issa lived in the Denver suburb of Arvada, and was charged with 10 counts of murder on Tuesday. A judge has granted his lawyer's request for a mental health hearing.
Among the victims of the shooting is one police officer who intervened a the scene.
The incident sparked Islamophobic reactions on social media, with words like “He’s Muslim,” “Islamic” and “Middle Eastern” trending on Twitter.
There are now fears the attack may lead to hate crimes against US Muslims, especially in the run-up to the fasting month of Ramadan.