Hundreds gathered at Westlake Park in Seattle to memorialize three Muslim college students from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were shot to death in their home on February 10th, 2015. Police have arrested and charged a neighbor of the young college students and in their initial analysis, have said that the incident was the result of an ongoing parking dispute between the neighbors. However, the family of the victims strongly refute that claim. The circumstances surrounding this incident and previous threats by the neighbor, combined with the anti-Muslim sentiment expressed in his social media posts, may warrant a federal hate crime investigation.
From the Facebook event page:
I am sure we are all in shock of the crime that happened in Chapel Hill, NC. The Muslim community in the US and world wide in general is subjected to a campaign of bigotry and hate, and this is our chance to bring attention to this case. Please be aware that this is a peaceful vigil. You represent the community, so always be respectful to others, and leave the location in a condition better than in which you found it. Anyone and everyone willing to support the cause is welcome.
I just wanted to announce some important messages by the organizers of this vigil:
Our vigil is a tribute to their legacy and life which was deeply, influenced by their American values and strong believe as Muslims. We want to make this event more about celebrating their life
1. The official dress code is white as it symbolize peace and tranquility.
2. If you can bring posters and images of them to commemorate their legacy. We will have some there but extras are always good.
3. Bring white and red roses
4. We encourage people to bring candles with them.
5. The theme of the event them which is paying tribute to their lives and contribution to the community.
6. There will be a Maghrib prayer at 5:30. We also going to have Qur’an recitation and some speakers that will be giving short speeches.
7. We also asking for some volunteers to help us keep everyone safe. You can message me if you like to volunteer
8. Police will be present to help with security
The event will start at 5 pm (be sure to leave time for parking) and end at 7:30pm. This will be held at Seattle’s Westlake center. see you out there!”
Gov. Jay Inslee’s Letter