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New Mexico: Sunni Muslim suspected of murdering Shi’ites is well-known in Muslim community



Here again we see it: Muhammad Syed was moderate until he started killing people. He was an ordinary Muslim who became an “Islamist” when he opened fire. And while the community is shocked, no one will explain, or be asked to explain, why the Sunni-Shi’ite animus could move someone to kill. To search for the roots of these shootings in the texts and teachings of Islam would be dismissed out of hand as “Islamophobic.” And so nothing effective will be done to try to prevent this sort of thing from recurring. That is why there will certainly be more killings of this kind, someday, in the U.S.

“Fear turns to shock among Albuquerque Muslims as police say the shooter is a Muslim,” by Becky Sullivan, NPR, August 10, 2022:

The killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque had already shaken the city’s small Muslim community, prompting businesses to close and residents to temporarily move away amid fears of a deadly spate of Islamophobic hate crimes.

Then came Tuesday’s news: The suspect, police say, is a 51-year-old man named Muhammad Syed, who is Muslim himself and whose motive may have been related to “interpersonal conflict.”

“You would expect that learning that a suspect is found and has been detained, it would feel like a breath of relief,” said Leena Aggad, the 23-year-old vice president of the University of New Mexico’s Muslim Student Association.

Instead, she said, news of the arrest felt “like another chain was placed on my heart.”

The suspect is well-known in the Muslim community

Syed is well-known to the Muslim community in Albuquerque, multiple people told NPR. He regularly came to the same mosque that the victims had attended.

“For months, this guy was praying next to other members of the community as if everything was normal,” Aggad said. “It shocks you.”

Syed has been charged in two of the four deaths, and police say he is the primary suspect in the other two killings. He was arrested during a traffic stop more than 100 miles from Albuquerque, authorities said Tuesday.

In a conversation with officers, Syed denied connection to the shootings. According to the criminal complaint, a gun recovered from his home matched bullet casings found at the crime scenes.

Police are working to determine a motive for the killings

Some reports have suggested the possibility that Syed, a Sunni Muslim, had targeted his victims over anger that his daughter had married a Shia Muslim. Authorities said Tuesday they are still working to determine the motive. (“Detectives discovered evidence that shows the offender knew the victims to some extent and an interpersonal conflict may have led to the shootings,” a police statement said.)

The suspect had lived in New Mexico for several years after immigrating from Afghanistan….