INDIANAPOLIS–Muslim leaders in Indiana have more information regarding a shooting that happened at a mosque on the northwest side of Indianapolis Sunday night.
“Security camera footage has captured what appears to be a red sports car, possibly a convertible, from which the shots were fired. We ask for the public’s help in possibly identifying the perpetrator of this crime,” said Hiba Alami, executive director of the Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network.
It happened around 9:20 at Masjid-E-Noor (5355 Lafayette Road). That’s near the intersection of Lafayette Road and West 52nd Street. Sunday also marked the Eid ul-Fitr holiday at the end of Ramadan.
“My car was struck, the back windshield was struck, and the glass door was struck. One bullet came through the wall. One brother was praying and the bullet that came through the wall nearly hit him,” said Mohammed Nomair Chughtai, a Muslim worshipper who says he was in the mosque at the time. “We thought the shooter was trying to come inside and we looked at the cameras and made sure he was not inside.”
If it weren’t for the coronavirus, there would have been more people in attendance.
“The mosque would have been filled to capacity with worshippers, with families and children, and there would have been a pot luck dinner,” said Shamaas Hassan Nyazee with the Muslim Alliance of Indiana.
Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Chris Bavender says the FBI is aware of the incident and is supporting IMPD as needed.
Leaders at Masjid-E-Noor found the incident particularly surprising because they have felt welcome in the community and they are welcoming of everyone else.
“We are regular Americans. We watch baseball. We watch football. We watch hockey. We miss our sports. And, just like anyone else, we love this country,” Nyazee said. “Given that Sunday was one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar and given that none of the churches nearby, thankfully, experienced the same thing we did, we think it’s clear that our mosque was targeted because it represents the Islamic faith.”
Nyazee says they are hoping to get bulletproof glass on the windows and have patrol officers in the area so people feel safe. They are considering hiring more security.
“Quite frankly, at the moment, it’s a little scary having to come to your place of worship thinking that there is someone out there trying to cause you harm,” Nyazee said.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) issued a statement on the shooting:
I'm horrified by the recent shooting that appeared to target Masjid-E-Noor Mosque in Indianapolis on Eid — one of the holiest days in Islam. I urge local authorities to thoroughly investigate this act of violence. We won't tolerate bigotry in our community or anywhere else.
— André Carson (@RepAndreCarson) May 28, 2020