US Islamic figure found dead in Columbus, Ohio
An imam of a mosque in Ohio, described by his community as beloved, was the latest victim of hate crimes in the United States.
The Columbus, Ohio police department is investigating as a homicide a body found on the city's North Side Friday afternoon, which locals identified to be that of a local imam, namely Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam.
The imam had been missing for two days at the time his body was tragically found in a junkyard on Christmas Eve following a days-long search.
Some 200 community members showed up at the scene shortly after police were called to mourn the beloved imam, whom they said taught Quran to local kids, set up sports leagues, and provided food to those in need during the pandemic.
"Tonight, we are shocked and devastated by the murder of Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam of Masjid Abu Hurairah – a beloved pillar of the Columbus Somali Muslim community," the council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Ohio said following the tragic incident.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioon - To God we belong and to Him we return.— CAIR-Ohio (@CAIROhio) December 25, 2021
Tonight, we are shocked and devastated by the murder of Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam of Masjid Abu Hurairah – a beloved pillar of the Columbus Somali Muslim community. pic.twitter.com/vOpiwQs7q4
"Our entire Ohio Muslim community has suffered a profound and tragic loss," said Amina Barhumi, CAIR-Ohio acting executive director.
Barhumi called on law enforcement to "conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the murder of this community leader, husband, and father."
CAIR-Ohio is offering up to $10,000 for information about Adam's death, demanding justice.
The homicide could have been a hate crime, as the United States suffers from rampant Islamophobia, the prejudice against Muslims, which surged following the 9/11 attacks, when they rose 1617% from 2000.
Hate crimes in the land of the free
In a March 2021 survey, US adults were asked how much discrimination they think a number of religious groups face in society. Americans were more likely to say they believe Muslims face "a lot" of discrimination, in contrast to what they would say about other religious groups.
The FBI showed that ethnicity and religion were the chief motives behind hate crimes in the United States in 2020, with 5227 single-bias incidents driven by ethnicity or race (61.8%) and 1244 single-bias incidents driven by religion (13.3%).
The victim, in this case, is both Arab (Somali) and Muslim, with both groups being minorities in the United States whom the number of hate crimes against saw a 6% increase in 2020.