New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement applauding the FBI investigation of the murders of North Carolinians Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Barakat on behalf of NYC’s “large and vibrant Muslim communities.”
I extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Deah Barakat – three university students who were gunned down in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this week – and I applaud the FBI for opening an investigation into whether this tragic, senseless act was motivated by hate or bias. Violence and intolerance directed against any faith community is an affront to humanity. New York City is home to large and vibrant Muslim communities who help make our city great, and anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in our city – or anywhere.
Previous reports indicated the horrific murders were the result of a dispute over parking, however, activist groups pressured the administration for an investigation into a possible hate crime.
The FBI is investigating the killings alongside local police. who [sic] believe the shooting was tied to an ongoing parking dispute, though they have not ruled out hate as a motive in the crime.
The three victims were students at the University of North Carolina and the victims’ family said they believe the killings were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.
“As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family,” Obama said in the statement. “Whenever anyone is taken from us before their time, we remember how they lived their lives — and the words of one of the victims should inspire the way we live ours.”
Obama then quoted one of the victims, Yusor Mohammed:
“Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Yusor said recently. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. There’s so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions — but here, we’re all one.”