It is with heavy hearts that we offer our deepest condolences to the families, loved ones and community of the four marines murdered yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Disturbing details have begun to emerge about the gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez: a tweet from an account purporting to represent ISIS foreshadowed the attacks, just as in Garland, Texas a few short months ago. A young man in his twenties, displaying signs of recklessness and disregard for human life as he was arrested for driving under the influence this past spring. A “nice guy,” classmates said, clearly radicalized to murder.
As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Dr. Jasser established AIFD with respect for the U.S. military as one of its foundational principles. We grieve with the military families who have lost their loved ones, loved ones who had already given so much to our great nation – and who had pledged to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect us all. While it is an egregious crime that they passed in this way, it is our job to ensure that their lives were not lost in vain. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the families the victims left behind, recommitting ourselves to remaining steadfast against those who would choose to silence our robust fight against radical ideology.
Today also marks a solemn beginning to a normally joyous holiday. We at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy wish Muslims around the world “Eid Mubarak” as we commemorate Eid al-Fitr, or the holiday of the feast. May the fasts, prayers and good works of the holy month of Ramadan be accepted, and serve as a source of spiritual fuel through the coming year. May more Muslims join us in seeing these spiritual pursuits as intertwined with service to our country, where we remain free to practice our faith. May not only refuse to take our freedoms for granted, but make it our solemn vow to protect freedom for all.