Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
NEW! Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+ Try 7 Days Free

Shock, shame among some Muslims as Afghan accused of New Mexico murders

World Aug 10, 2022 07:40PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. Participants in an interfaith memorial ceremony enter the New Mexico Islamic Center mosque to commemorate four murdered Muslim men, hours after police said they had arrested a prime suspect in the killings, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. August 9, 2022.

By Andrew Hay

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Reuters) -Muslims in New Mexico interviewed on Wednesday said they felt shock and shame at the arrest of a Muslim immigrant from Afghanistan in connection with the murders of four Muslim men.

Police on Tuesday said they detained 51-year-old Muhammad Syed. A motive for the killings remains unclear, but police said he may have acted on personal grudges, possibly with intra-Muslim sectarian overtones.

Syed denied being involved with any of the four killings when questioned by police, according to the New York Times.

"We're in complete total disbelief. Speechless. You know, kind of embarrassed to say he was one of our own," said Mula Akbar, an Afghan-American businessman who said he had helped Syed settle in the city.

"His hatred of Shi'ites might have had something to do with it," Akbar said.

Syed was from the Sunni branch of Islam and prayed together at Albuquerque's Islamic Center of New Mexico (ICNM) mosque with most of the victims, three of whom were from the Shi'ite branch of Islam. All four victims were of Afghan or Pakistani descent. One was killed in November, the other three in the last two weeks.

Syed, who made his first appearance in court Wednesday, was formally charged with killing Aftab Hussein, 41, on July 26 and Muhammed Afzaal Hussain, 27, on Aug. 1.

Police said on Tuesday they were working with prosecutors on potential charges for the murders of Naeem Hussain, 25, a truck driver killed on Friday, and Mohammad Ahmadi, 62, shot dead on Nov. 7, 2021, outside the grocery store he ran with his brother in southeast Albuquerque.

It was not immediately clear if Syed had retained a lawyer.

Police declined to comment on rumors Syed was angry one of his daughters had eloped and married a Shi'ite man.

The daughter told CNN that her husband was friends with two of the men who were killed, Aftab Hussein and Naeem Hussain. The woman, who CNN did not name out of concern for her safety, said her father was not happy when she married in 2018 but had become accepting more recently.

"My father is not a person who can kill somebody. My father has always talked about peace. That's why we are here in the United States. We came from Afghanistan, from fighting, from shooting," she told CNN.

Palestinian-American Samia Assed said the Muslim community of around 4,000 in Albuquerque had work to do to prevent violence they left behind in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"This took me back to 9/11 when I just wanted to hide under a rock," said the human rights activist after she hosted an interfaith memorial at the ICNM, Albuquerque's oldest and largest mosque.

"For this to happen it's like setting us back 100 years," she said.

The mosque is nonsectarian, serves mainly Sunnis from over 30 countries and has never before experienced violence of this kind, according to congregants interviewed by Reuters.

Syed is a truck driver, has six children, is from Pashtun ethnicity and arrived in the United States as a refugee about six years ago from Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, said Akbar, a former U.S. diplomat who worked on Afghan issues and helped found the Afghan Society of New Mexico.

Syed developed a record of criminal misdemeanors over the last three or four years, including a case of domestic violence, police said.

Video from February 2020 showed him slashing the tires of a vehicle at the ICNM believed to be owned by the family of the first known victim, Ahmadi, according to the mosque's president, attorney Ahmad Assed.

"We're in a surreal time trying to make sense of these senseless killings we've suffered," he said.

Shock, shame among some Muslims as Afghan accused of New Mexico murders
 

Related Articles

Thailand mass shooting kills 34 at daycare centre
Thailand mass shooting kills 34 at daycare centre By Reuters - Oct 06, 2022

BANGKOK (Reuters) -Thirty-four people were killed in Thailand on Thursday in a gun and knife attack at a daycare centre by a former policeman who killed his wife and child before...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email