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In the Name of God, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful

Statement on the Targeted Killing of Shia Muslims in New Mexico

Dear Community Members, 

Peace be upon you,

The Muslim community of North America is shocked by the killing of four Muslims, three Shia and one Sunni, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The most recent of these crimes occurred in the days commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (p), just three days before Ashura, and it has caused apprehension and fear, particularly in the Shia Muslim community. As such, the Council of Shia Muslim Scholars in North America expresses its deepest sympathies to the victims' families and strongly condemns and decries this targeted attack at the hands of an extremist who reportedly harbored hate and prejudice toward Shia Muslims. 

Such hatred is perpetuated by clerics who fan the flames of sectarianism and religious intolerance and incite their followers, even here in North America, by labeling other Muslims as infidels. Thankfully, during this tragic and heartbreaking situation, there is a renewed sense of hope in the unequivocal condemnation by a number of prominent Sunni scholars of the view and mentality that Shias are infidels.

We ask the Shia Muslims of North America to stay united and firm in fighting this prejudice and hatred of any kind, and to be vigilant in their communities, especially during these nights of commemorating the Master of Martyrs Imam Hussain (p). We also extend our gratitude to the broader Sunni leadership for showing their support against the false takfiri mentality which seeks to vilify Shia Muslims and others who do not conform to their extreme views of Islam. If Almighty Allah is asking us to join with the Ahlul Kitab “on a common word” of monotheism, we as Muslims must join with one another on the common tenets of faith: monotheism, the Holy Quran, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hp), his authentic sunnah, and the qiblah, and to foster closeness through our common practices of salat, zakat, fasting, pilgrimage, and upholding what is just and rejecting evil. 

Finally, let us improve engagement, both among ourselves and with others, and work together to address and remediate the causes of these heinous acts, eradicate extremism of any kind and promote dialogue, as Allah states in the Holy Quran, “Cooperate in piety and Godwariness, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression, and be wary of Allah.”

- The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America

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The Council of Shia Muslim Scholars of North America
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