Condemning the murder of three young Muslim Americans in the US this week as “not a hate crime but a terrorist act,” Qatar Foundation has invited all residents to attend a solidarity march on campus tomorrow.
The walk will take place at 2:30pm and begin in front of the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Student Center in Education City.
On Twitter, QF said:
— Qatar Foundation (@QF) February 13, 2015
The three students — Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 — were shot and killed on Tuesday at their home near the University of North Carolina.
Neighbor Craig Hicks, 46, turned himself in earlier this week and has been charged with three counts of murder. He remains in jail.
His supporters say his motive was anger over a parking dispute, while relatives of the victims argue the crime was motivated by hate.
Many of Hick’s posts on his Facebook page, which apparently has since been taken down, heap scorn on religion.
News of the murders has resonated worldwide, prompting an outpouring of condemnation, condolence and grief. In Qatar, some residents weighed in online:
Hearing about the #ChapelHill shootings just breaks my heart. That graduation photo is so hopeful and full of life.
— Hannah Farrant (@hannahfarrant) February 11, 2015
On Friday, after intense domestic and international pressure, including from leaders in Jordan and Turkey, US President Barack Obama condemned the killings, saying in a statement:
“No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship. As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family.”
A federal investigation has also been opened to look into the murders. According to the New York Times, at least a dozen firearms — including handguns, shotguns, rifles and a black Bushmaster AR-15 — were seized this week from Hicks’s apartment.
Those attending tomorrow’s march can enter Education City from the Ceremonial Court entrance on Al Luqta St, and can park in the Ceremonial Court parking lot.
QF has also asked supporters to donate to Syrian Dental Relief, which was started by Barakat (a dental student) to aid refugees in Turkey.
For more updates on the case, see the Facebook page launched in the memory of the deceased, Our Three Winners.