Another day, another murder in America. On February 24, three, young, black men, at least two of them Muslim, were killed in Indiana, Fort Wayne.
Mohamedtaha Omar, 23 years old
Adam Meki, 20 years old
Muhannad Tairab, 17 years old
They were shot, “execution style” in an abandoned house, and the media coverage on the story has been disgraceful. As ever, many news outlets haven’t covered the story adequately, or at all, contributing to a selective picture of the world. Muslims and Black people are consistently excluded from media coverage, and when they are not, the coverage is often accompanied by character assainsation, demonisation and dehumanisation of the victims.
Systematic oppression has allowed this type of behaviour to continue without significant outrage or the delivery of justice. While the police have stated the deaths were not racially motivated (Public Safety Director Rusty York said police had “no reason to believe this is any type of hate crime or focus because of their religion or nationality,” CNN reported), the people who think the likes of Donald Trump and Daily Mail do not influence the public should acknowledge that Islamophobia and racism actually do cost innocent people their lives.
While reports on the religion of the three men have been conflicting – some outlets are saying that one of the men was a Christian – these murders come almost exactly a year after the deaths of three other Muslim Americans, who were killed in an Islamaphobic attack in February 2015.
The Chapel Hill murders, which saw 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, gunned down, shook America, but Islamaphobic attacks are still on the rise in the states. A YouGov poll conducted in last year found that 55% of surveyed Americans had an “unfavourable” opinion of Islam, and with Trump on track to win the Republican nomination, this figure could be set to increase.
However, I also want to know where the outcry from the Muslim community over Mohamedtaha, Adam and Muhannad deaths is? If we don’t confront the anti-blackness in our communities that contributes and facilitates the dehumanisation of black people then frankly, we are just as guilty.
Rest in power my brothers, may God rest your souls and grant your families the strength and patience through this. #OurThreeBoys.