The Palestinian Authority on Saturday condemned the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina on Tuesday, voicing concern over what it called “terrorism which targets civilians based on their religion.”
Police were investigating whether the shootings of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his new wife Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, allegedly at the hands of a neighbor who railed against religion, were a hate crime, as the victims’ family members contend.
Ramallah’s Foreign Ministry condemned the “heinous crime” in a statement published on the official Wafa news agency website, demanding a transparent investigation into the murders. The two women killed in the Chapel Hill shooting, it noted, were Palestinian.
The leader of the world’s largest bloc of Muslim countries also said Saturday that the slaying of three college students in North Carolina has raised international concerns about “rising anti-Muslim sentiments and Islamophobic acts” in the United States.
According to a press release Saturday from the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Secretary General Iyad Madani called on the US government to take more steps to protect against “stereotyping, discrimination and profiling.” Madani welcomed the FBI’s investigation into the case and praised President Barack Obama for comments condemning the targeting of people for how they worship.
The OIC release said Madani thanked the American people for “rejecting the murder which bear the symptoms of a hate crime.”
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday said he was “deeply moved” by scenes of thousands of people mourning the deaths of the three Muslim students gunned down in North Carolina.
“At a time of troubling tensions stoked by those who seek to twist the teachings of faith and sow division, these three young people represented the best values of global citizenship and active community compassion to build a better world for all,” Ban said in a statement read by his spokesman.
AFP contributed to this report.