The killings of 4 Muslim males throughout Albuquerque have devastated household and associates — and rattled a group

The killings of 4 Muslim males throughout Albuquerque have devastated household and associates — and rattled a group

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Halal market and occasional proprietor Sharief Hadi left Afghanistan within the Nineteen Eighties and settled in america for what he thought can be a safer life.

However after the murders of 4 Muslim males within the metropolis in current months, together with his brother Mohammad Zaher Ahmadi, Hadi’s religion within the American dream is shattered.

“I assumed I used to be dwelling a dream, but it surely’s not a dream. It is the other,” Hadi, 73, stated in a phone interview Monday. “My brother’s stunning life was taken away. I do not care about my life anymore.”

The wave of murders within the Albuquerque space has surprised town and rattled the small, tight-knit Muslim group, fueling fears {that a} racist serial killer is on the free.

Albuquerque legislation enforcement officers imagine the murders of Ahmadi, 62, Aftab Hussein, 41, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, and Naeem Hussain, 25, might be associated.

Individuals sprinkle dust on the grave of Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, at Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque, NM, on August 5, 2022.Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal by way of ZUMA Press Wire

Authorities stated Sunday they’ve recognized a “automobile of curiosity” linked to the 4 slayings, and the FBI is helping native officers with the investigation. Police stated they haven’t but decided a motive.

Ahmad Assed, president of the Islamic Heart of New Mexico, a mosque attended by the 4 victims, stated in an interview Monday that he felt “damaged” and “devastated,” as did many in a group he described as “discouraged.” “.

“They really feel a sure helplessness, they’re afraid,” Assed stated of members of the Muslim group. “His complete world has been turned the wrong way up.”

He added: “Everybody could be very deflated and eagerly awaiting some reply as to why.”

Assed stated that the Islamic Heart is the guts of social interactions between members of the group. Within the wake of the killings, many native Muslims selected to remain dwelling, the place they really feel secure and “do not danger coming to the mosque,” she stated.

Hadi, the proprietor of the halal market, echoed that remark. He stated Muslims within the space appear too scared to exit for worry of being shot senselessly.

“They do not need to go to the shop. They do not need to go pray. They do not need to go to the mosque,” Hadi stated, his voice rising in anger. He added that his personal enterprise has suffered in current weeks.

Ahmadi was killed on November 7, in line with police. A number of months later, three extra Muslim males have been shot lifeless. Aftab Hussein, born in Pakistan, was assassinated on July 26. Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was discovered lifeless on a sidewalk final Monday. Then, simply earlier than midnight on Friday, Naeem Hussain was additionally discovered lifeless.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, stated it was providing a $10,000 reward for data resulting in the arrest of whoever was behind the killings.

President Joe Biden condemned the killings, saying in a tweet on Sunday that his “prayers are with the households of the victims, and my Administration is a powerful supporter of the Muslim group.

“These hateful assaults don’t have any place in America,” Biden added.

The 4 males left behind household, associates and colleagues struggling to grasp the bloodshed.

Naeem Hussain’s physique was found within the car parking zone of Lutheran Household Providers Rocky Mountains, a nonprofit group that had helped resettle him in Albuquerque. Hussain was born in Pakistan and got here to america as a refugee a number of years in the past in the hunt for higher alternatives, in line with his brother-in-law, Ehsan Shahalami. He turned a US citizen on July 8.

Shahalami stated that in a purchasing journey along with his spouse, youngsters and Hussain final month, Hussain purchased a brand new swimsuit, gown shirt and sneakers for his citizenship oath ceremony.

“I used to be very enthusiastic about that ceremony,” stated Shahalami, 37, of Virginia. “As a result of he was now turning into an American citizen. Clearly he was happy with that.”

Hussain labored as a truck driver and saved sufficient cash to purchase a truck of his personal that he insisted on driving when the pandemic hit. “Quite a lot of drivers mainly took unemployment due to the Covid state of affairs and when it got here to Naeem, he stated, ‘You recognize, the nation wants us greater than some other time proper now. So we have to preserve driving and attempt to affect on different drivers. to maintain driving,'” Shahalami stated.

“Naeem must be remembered for what he actually was: a real and beneficiant man,” Shahalami stated. Hussain cherished being outdoor, particularly tenting and fishing, and he was recognized to drive round with fishing poles in his automobile.

Shahalami stated that though his wives are sisters, he thought-about Hussain a brother and that the 2 have been very shut. They talked commonly and spent the Fourth of July collectively in Virginia. Hussain had deliberate to carry his spouse from Pakistan to the US after he turned a citizen.

“The truth is, he had some good enterprise plans for the longer term, however he clearly did not know in regards to the future,” Shahalami stated. “These plans are now not there.”

Muhammad Afzaal Hussain’s brother, Muhammad Imtiz Hussain, advised NBC Information he’s in worry for his life, haunted by the data that his brother was shot lifeless close to seemingly regular residential streets, “locations the place my youngsters go to trip their bikes.” “.

The late Hussain was the director of planning and land use for town of Española, roughly 90 miles north of Albuquerque. Vince Baldonado, certainly one of his colleagues, described feeling anxious when Hussain did not present up on the workplace final Tuesday.

“We have been all questioning, ‘Did you get a name?’ Did you get a textual content? Is he caught in visitors? We did not assume the worst… however then we discovered.”

Baldonado, 42, finally discovered from one other colleague that Hussain had been discovered lifeless the evening earlier than.

“I could not imagine it,” Baldonado stated. “I by no means misplaced a pal to gun violence. He was my supervisor, my boss, my shut pal.”

Baldonado added that he had deliberate to go fishing and tenting with Hussain someday earlier than the top of the summer season. He fondly recalled that Hussain at all times took an curiosity in his youngsters, encouraging Baldonado to enroll them in STEM lessons.

“He did not have a single dangerous bone in his physique,” Baldonado stated.

Guad Venegas reported from Albuquerque; Daniel Arkin and Janelle Griffith from New York.

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