(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/12/19) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed support for the families of three young American Muslims who were brutally murdered in 2015 in Chapel Hill, N.C., and whose killer has received three life sentences for the murders.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said:
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of Deah, Yusor, and Razan. Through their dedication to service, Our Three Winners represented the best of our faith, our community, and our nation.
"Today's court proceeding confirmed what the Muslim community knew four years ago: Deah, Yusor, and Razan were killed because they were Muslims by a man who hated Muslims. This was a hate crime.
"No matter how many life sentences the murderer receives, these three beautiful souls are no longer with us. May God grant them the highest rank of Paradise, guide people around the world to continue benefiting from their legacy, and allow us to strive against bigotry and hatred in all their forms.
"This day represents the first step on a painful path of closure for the family, the Muslim community, and our nation. As part of the healing process we welcome the statement by Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue rectifying their previous mischaracterization of the incident as a parking dispute and commend the North Carolina community for its efforts in seeking justice and reconciliation."
He also encouraged the public to honor the memories of Deah, Yusor and Razan by making a donation to the ‘Our Three Winners Foundation.’
Earlier today, Craig Stephen Hicks, pleaded guilty to the first degree murder of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. Hicks, 50, also pleaded guilty to discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling and was sentenced to an additional 64 to 89 months in prison for that.
On Facebook, Hicks described himself as an "anti-theist" and has posted condemnations of all religions. One post, a picture from United Atheists of America, asks "why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others' influence when they agree about so many ideological issues."
Craig Stephen Hicks Condemned All Religions on Facebook Prior to 'Muslim Mass-Murder' Arrest
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, email@example.com, 202-744-7726