Pakistani Americans, Muslims Condemn Attack on Jewish Center

Newark, CA: The Pakistan-American Democratic Forum (PADF), a grassroots organization working for institution-building and restoration of democracy in Pakistan, has strongly condemned the recent attack on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.
A PADF statement, in part, reads:
"The Pakistan American Democratic Forum resolutely condemns this hate crime resulting in death of one person and injuries to five more. We offer our sincere condolences the families of the victims and hope and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”
AMA: The American Muslim Alliance (AMA), a civic education organization with 101 chapters nationwide, has also strongly condemned the attack. An AMA statement reads:
"We vigorously condemn this odious attack on a religious institution and extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. A multicultural society is built around mutual respect and adherence to law. We support calls for greater vigilance by law enforcement agencies in protecting all places of worship. “
COPAA: “The Council Of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA) condemns the hate crime perpetrated against the Jewish Federation in downtown Seattle, Washington killing one woman and wounding five other women, including one who is about 20 weeks pregnant.
“COPAA, representing the Pakistani-American community, condemns this hate crime against innocent and unsuspecting civilians. COPAA offers its deepest and heartfelt sorrow to the victims, their families and their friends. Nothing can justify a disgruntled individual claiming to be of a certain religious background and start shooting at innocent civilians because of military actions in another part of the world.
“COPAA is in complete support of Seattle’s Major Greg Nickels statement, ‘This is a crime of hate, and there's no place for that in the city of Seattle. This was a purposeful hateful act, as far as we know, by an individual acting alone.’ COPAA would like to extend Major Greg Nickels statement by saying that there’s no place for hate crimes ‘anywhere.’
“COPAA urges the world community to unite and condemn all hate crimes intentionally perpetrated against selected victims of any religion, ethnicity, race or gender. We must unite against the perpetrators of these appalling acts.”
PAKPAC: “The Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC)condemns the attack by an individual claiming to be an American Muslim on the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle… We condemn this senseless attack on any place, let alone a religious and community institution and offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured. We must do whatever is in our power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to our country. We actually foresee the good friendship that the Pakistani Americans and American Muslims enjoy with Jewish Americans to help build an important lasting relationship which would serve as a mechanism to spread peace in the Middle east, rather than the other way round.
“While international conflicts do lead to anger and despair amongst people, we must unite together to ask all people to stop hate speeches at all times which may lead to hate-based actions. We must exercise zero tolerance for anyone propagating hate based activities. We also urge local, state and national law enforcement authorities to step up security measures at synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions of both faiths at this time.”
CAIR: In a statement, the Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group said: "We condemn this senseless attack on a religious institution and offer sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed or injured. The American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to this country. We also urge local, state and national law enforcement authorities to step up security measures at synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions of both faiths."
MPAC: The Muslim Public Affairs Council unequivocally condemns the murder of one person and the wounding of five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle , says an MPAC press release. It adds: In addition, MPAC expresses its deep condolences to the Jewish Federation and the families of the victims and prays for the speedy recovery of those injured by this crime motivated by hate.
According to the Seattle Times, Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, of Everett, WA, burst into the offices of the Jewish Federation shortly after 4pm PST and opened fire with a handgun. Haq reportedly has a history of mental illness and court records show a charge of lewd conduct pending against him in Benton County, WA.
Responding to the concern that Haq may not have been acting alone, FBI officials stated it was unlikely he had links to any group.
[There is] "nothing to indicate he is part of a larger organization" said David Gomez, assistant special agent in charge of counter-terrorism for the FBI's Seattle office.
See: Hatred hits home: 6 shot at Jewish office (Seattle Times, 7/29/06)
MPAC contacted its partner organization in Los Angeles, the Progressive Jewish Alliance, and also contacted the Wilshire Blvd. Temple, to communicate concerns over this dreadful incident. MPAC is currently trying to contact the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles.
Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of MPAC stated, "Our fellow Jewish neighbors, and fellow Americans of all persuasions, should hear our loud and explicit condemnation of this murder and hate crime. No matter the differences in viewpoints on the Middle East crisis, we are all Americans, and disagreements should never go beyond the level of civil discourse we as a nation pride ourselves in. This act, although committed by someone seemingly mentally ill, is simply intolerable. We reiterate our prayers for the loved ones affected by this tragic hate crime."
In addition, Al-Marayati stated, "Never, never should we allow the violence in the Middle East to spark violence on our shores."

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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