New Jersey Imam Dies After Being Shot Outside Mosque

New Jersey Imam Dies After Being Shot Outside Mosque
Image copyright: Spencer Platt/Getty Images News via Getty Images [2012]

The Facts

  • Imam Hassan Sharif from Masjid Muhammad-Newark mosque succumbed to his injuries and died at University Hospital in New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon, about eight hours after a shooter opened fire outside the religious building on South Orange Avenue and Camden Street.

  • Police officers reportedly found Sharif in the parking lot with bullet wounds in his abdomen and left arm. Authorities rushed him to hospital in critical condition. The victim was also a transportation security officer at Newark Liberty International Airport for nearly two decades.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

Though authorities may claim that this fatal shooting isn't a hate crime, it seems too much of a coincidence that a New Jersey imam has been killed outside a mosque just weeks after three Palestinian students were shot in Vermont on their way to a family dinner. It's a matter of fact that Islamophobia and hate crimes against the Muslim community have soared in the US since Israel's bombardment in Gaza.

Pro-establishment narrative

It's legitimate that Muslim Americans feel concerned about their safety in the wake of a shocking incident like this one, especially as reports of threats, violence, and hate speech against them — as well as against Jewish Americans — have indeed increased since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Yet, evidence doesn't indicate that Imam Sharif was a victim of a biased crime.

Articles on this story

Sign up to our daily newsletter