MPAC Stands with the Newark Muslim Community

January 4, 2024 Updated February 4, 2024 Statements

Washington, D.C. | | January 4, 2024 — The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) expresses its deepest concern and sends its prayers to the Masjid Muhammad community in Newark, NJ, following Wednesday’s tragic incident. Just before morning prayer, Imam Hassan Sharif was shot outside his mosque by an unknown assailant, leaving him in critical condition and fighting for his life, until he succumbed to his injuries later that afternoon.

Imam Sharif was an integral part of the Newark Muslim community, serving selflessly and building bridges of understanding between faith communities. He worked tirelessly to promote peace and improve conditions within his community.

The motive behind this senseless act of violence remains unclear, and the Newark Police Department is currently conducting a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrator to justice. Authorities are urging anyone with information related to the incident to come forward and contact the Newark Police Department.

Regrettably, this incident takes place against the backdrop of increasing anti-Muslim sentiment across the United States in recent months. The Muslim Public Affairs Council stands firmly for the human security of all Americans, particularly those who are oppressed or targeted due to their faith. 

In light of these troubling trends, MPAC calls upon law enforcement agencies and the federal government to acknowledge, protect, and thoroughly investigate all potential hate incidents and hate speech that affect the Muslim community in the United States. It is imperative that our government safeguard houses of worship and proactively address acts of intolerance to ensure the protection and well-being of all, regardless of their faith.

As we navigate these challenging times, MPAC urges everyone to join together in prayer for peace and unity. Our thoughts are with the Imam’s family, and the entire Newark community during this difficult period. We stand in solidarity with them and remain committed to fostering an environment of understanding, respect, and religious freedom for all.

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