Members of different Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith groups have banded together to condemn the senseless violence committed against two Muslim men that happened in Queens last weekend.
Last Saturday, an imam, or an Islamic worship leader, and his assistant were fatally shot by an unidentified suspect. The two men were killed in Ozone Park as they were leaving a prayer service. Police officials are still trying to determine the motive of the suspect for carrying out the attack.
Although it was not explicitly said that the murder was an act of religion-based violence, an interfaith group comprising the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, Temple Beth El of Somerset, the Somerset Presbyterian Church and Fanwood Presbyterian Church released a statement to show their support for the families of the slain victims and their condemnation of the Queens shooting.
"On behalf of a broad multi-faith coalition of more than 120 organizations throughout New Jersey, we are deeply saddened at the cold-blooded assassination yesterday of Imam Maulana Akonjee of the Al Furqan Jame Masjid in Queens New York and his assistant Mr. Thara Uddin who were wearing the traditional Muslim garments," the statement reads.
In addition, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) also made their own statements condemning the murder of the two Muslim men.
"We are deeply pained by this cold-blooded dual murder of Muslim religious leaders," Robert Silverman said, as quoted by Algemeiner. Silverman is AJC's U.S. Director of Muslim-Jewish Relations. "Our hearts go out to the families of the slain men, to their congregation, and to the Bangladeshi Muslim community in New York," he continued.
Silverman will be attending the funeral of the victims on behalf of AJC.
"We stand with this traumatized community, and offer much support and understanding for healing ... Bringing the killer to justice must be an utmost priority," he said.