Contact:
MAI Executive Director, Aliya Amin, 317-306-1998, [email protected]

(Indianapolis, IN, 3/15/19) – The Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) is grieving for 49 lives lost in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand during Friday prayers, condemns the Islamophobic, anti-immigrant hate that was the motivator for the attack and asks all places of worship to remain vigilant and enforce extra security measures for all services.

A gunman opened fire at two mosques during Friday prayers killing 49 people and injuring nearly 50 in what is the biggest act of mass violence in New Zealand’s history. The killing spree lasted for 17 minutes and there are reports that a 73-page manifesto was authored by the 28-year old gunman claiming that he wanted to attack Muslims and praising President Donald Trump calling him a “symbol of renewed white identity.” In addition to the shooting, two explosive devices were found attached to one of the detainee’s cars. 

In a statement, MAI Executive Director Aliya Amin said:
“The Hoosier Muslim community is shattered and heartbroken for our Kiwi sisters and brothers. At this time, we urge all faith communities to take extra security measures during services and sunday schools because all life is precious. While attacks against Muslims have been on the rise, this is the first we have seen on this scale. We call upon our leaders and elected officials to openly and forcefully condemn the hate that was the driving force for this attack before we find ourselves grieving for even more lives. Just as Charleston was unacceptable, Pittsburgh was unacceptable, Christchurch is unacceptable and should be the end of the list of attacks due to any kind of hate. To the families of all victims, we don’t have any words that can give you comfort, but the world is praying for you. May God grant you peace and strength during this devastating time.”

A fundraising campaign has been started for the victims and their families here: https://www.launchgood.com/project/support_for_the_families__victims_of_the_new_zealand_mosque_shootings#!/

Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) is an Indiana-based nonprofit of Muslims working for all Hoosiers to build a community that is inclusive, diverse and capable of effective collective action to preserve the civil rights and liberties of all. 

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Join us for the vigil on Friday, March 1st: RSVP here

The Greater Indianapolis Muslim community is saddened and disheartened by the recent murder of Mustafa Ayoubi, a 32-year old IU Kelley School of Business graduate, devoted son and brother, and loyal friend. Ayoubi’s friends were present during the shooting and witnessed the alleged shooter shout bigoted and Islamophobic statements at Ayoubi before pulling the
trigger and taking his life.

We strongly condemn the abhorrent sentiments of hate and bigotry and we continue to work closely with IMPD for a transparent investigation into this hate crime.

Our hearts and prayers are with Mustafa’s family and friends, and we appreciate the outpouring support from the interfaith community. We will not tolerate bigotry in our Hoosier State, and with our allies, will continue our work to ensure that no community will grieve because of hate.

Signed in love,

Congressman Andre Carson, Indiana Congressional District 7
Hiba Alami, Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network (IMAN Associates)
Aliya Amin, Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI)
Imam Ahmed AlAmine, Masjid Alfajr
Halima Alkhattab, Indianapolis Muslim Community Association (IMCA)
Ashhar Madni, Al Salam Foundation
Michael Saahir, Nur-Allah Islamic Center
Dr. Muhammad Majid, Muslim Community Center
Board of Directors, Alhuda Foundation
Ismail Aleem, Masjid Al-Mumineen

Did you know that we have a helpline for Arabic-speaking Hoosiers? If you know of an individual or family that needs help connecting to services or reporting an incident, please pass along the phone number!

All callers can remain anonymous if they wish, and the hotline is not just for Muslims. Please help spread the word! #indianamuslims

Whether you need help finding jobs, educational programs, health care or legal advice – call the helpline to be connected to these resources and more!

If you work with the Arabic-speaking population and would like us to drop off some fliers, please message us or email [email protected]

For more information contact:

MAI Executive Director Aliya Amin at 317-306-1998 or [email protected] 
and 
IMAN Executive Director Hiba Alami at 317-798-0688 or [email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

FAMILY OF MUSTAFA AYOUBI TO ADDRESS MEDIA PRIOR TO HEARING

Zahra Ayoubi, sister of Mustafa Ayoubi, will address the media at the Marion County Courthouse on Friday morning at 8:30 prior to the initial hearing proceedings for Dustin Passarelli on February 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM.  

On Saturday, suspect Dustin Passarelli followed the victim, 32-year old IU graduate Mustafa Ayoubi, on I-465 near 38th street. Upon exiting the interstate, the suspect followed Ayoubi to his destination, an apartment complex near Eagle Creek, and shot the victim multiple times. The suspect has been arrested on a preliminary charge of murder and booked into the Marion County Jail, according to the IMPD.    

Eye witnesses said the suspect was “shouting anti-Islamic slurs at them and was telling them to ‘get out of our country, you are foreigners.'” (SEE: WIBC)  

Hoosier Muslim community leaders are calling on local law enforcement to vigorously investigate a possible hate crime motive for the murder of Mustafa Ayoubi, irrespective of the status of any hate crime legislation pending in the State.

WHO: Zahra Ayoubi, sister of victim Mustafa Ayoubi

WHAT: Initial Hearing Proceedings for Suspect Dustin Passarelli

WHEN: Friday, February 22 at 9:00 AM 

WHERE: Indianapolis Criminal Division 4. Address: 200 E. Washington St. #W203, Indianapolis, IN 46204

In a statement, Aliya Amin, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, said: 

“We believe the initial characterization of this heinous crime as a road rage incident does not fully take into account that the victim’s friends, who were direct eye-witnesses, state that the suspect targeted them because of their religion and ethnicity.  Multiple eyewitness accounts of a possible hate crime motive ought to be more than enough impetus for police to pursue that possibility.  Regardless of the lack of a hate crime law on the books, the victim’s family and the Indiana Muslim community deserve full transparency about the suspect’s motives, and we expect the IMPD to share the results of any preliminary investigation.”  

In a statement, Hiba Alami, the Executive Director of IMAN, said:

“While our legislature debates the language of a proposed hate crimes statute,  the hate-motivated murder this weekend tragically demonstrates how real this issue is to Muslim and other marginalized communities.  Hate crimes target the entire community because any one of us could have been on Interstate 465 that day and become a target.  We hope to hear from the IMPD soon regarding the suspect’s complete motive, which would include taking into account the eyewitnesses.” 

In a statement, Arsalan Bukhari, Strategic Communications Manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said:

“We have witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants, and members of other minority groups since 2016.  When government officials promote hateful rhetoric on the national level, or here at the state level do not recognize hate crimes, tragedies like what has befallen the Ayoubi family are only made worse.”   

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reported a sharp rise in anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes since 2016 (see: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hate-crimes-against-us-muslims-have-jumped-since-2016-2018-04-24), and the FBI reported a sharp overall rise in hate crimes since 2016 as well (See: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/us/hate-crimes-fbi-2017.html).   

Muslim Alliance of Indiana (MAI) envisions a future in which thriving and integrated Hoosier Muslims serve their broader communities and the state, and in which they are considered as an indispensable component of Indiana’s political, economic, religious and social fabrics. It also works towards building a broad Hoosier Muslim community that is strong in its diversity, inclusive, and is capable of effective collective action to preserve its civil rights and liberties, along with those of other vulnerable groups. www.indianamuslims.org

Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network (IMAN) is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization that strives to provide Muslim Hoosiers an educated, organized and amplified political voice advocating for positive civic and political changes in the State of Indiana. http://imanactivists.org/

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