BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The Muslim community of Boulder has been working to help the families of victims in the King Sooper’s shooting. Since the suspect’s identity has been released, they are now also worried about a possible backlash.
“I did know someone in the community, she is one of my book club members, and she was there during the incident,” Farah Afzal said.
Afzal friend made it out alive, but she mourns for those who didn’t.
“They’re our neighbors, we are all brothers and sisters and we feel for — Boulder’s home, we feel for the community,” she said.
Afzal and others at the Islamic Center of Boulder have been working to raise money for the victim’s families through the Launchgood platform, it began Tuesday, and they’re almost at their $20,000 goal.
“We sent a card and flowers to the Boulder Police Department with the message of our heartfelt condolences,” Ajaz Siraj said.
As they’ve been shaken by this tragedy, they’re also preparing for possible threats. The suspected shooter, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa‘s name is in Arabic, and there have been reports that he was bullied about his Islamic faith. In addition, since 9/11 Middle Eastern people and Muslims have faced increased discrimination and been accused of terrorism.
“To my Muslim brothers and sisters, I hope the events of the past 23 hours have not led to hatred,” Siraj read.
Out of concern for those at the Mosque, a non-Muslim member of the community left a card and flowers to express support.
“Islam does not accept this, this is not what Muslims are, this is not what our religion preaches, so let me just put it that way. Whatever he did is on his own, he is just an isolated individual,” Afzal added.
She and others at ICB hope their message is clear, they stand in solidarity with those who have been impacted and pray to heal together.
So far they have not received any threats, however, they are preparing to step up precautions.