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Critics Denounce ‘Muslim’ Label on San Bernardino Attacks


Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News, 2015-12-05


Critics in the US say the religion of the attackers who went on a shooting rampage in California should not be become the main focus of the investigation after the FBI announced the deadly assault was an “act of terrorism”.

Fourteen people were shot dead and 21 wounded after Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik allegedly stormed a party in San Bernardino attended by his co-workers and opened fire on Tuesday.

The couple were later killed in a shoot-out with police.

Lawyers for Farook’s family noted media coverage has quickly moved to portray the attackers as Muslims, while past shootings by those of other religions never brought their faith to the forefront.

He [Farook] was an isolated individual without any friends,” lawyer David Chesley told reporters on Friday.

“When a Christian goes to shoot up an abortion clinic, the headlines don’t say ‘extremist Christian Catholic’ just like every headline is saying ‘Muslim massacre’ or ‘Muslim shooters’.”

US-based law professor Khalid Beydoun told Al Jazeera there are violent “fringe elements” within the Muslim-American community, but he noted the same goes for other ethnic or religious groups in the United States.

Beydoun says more than 350 gun crimes this year in the US were carried out by white men, while 63 percent of mass shootings have been committed by white males since 1982. – Al Jazeera

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