US Muslim groups have condemned Saturday’s hostage-taking incident at a synagogue in the US state of Texas.
Four people including a rabbi were held by a gunman who entered the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville during a religious service. After hours of standoff with law enforcement, all hostages were freed and the captor was dead, police said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, denounced the incident.
“This latest anti-Semitic attack at a house of worship is an unacceptable act of evil. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community,” CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in a statement on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the US Council of Muslim Organizations said it stands in complete solidarity against antisemitism with the Jewish community and “condemns the evil, unjust, and unjustifiable hostage-taking of members of the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue.”
Hostage-taking at Texas synagogue is a sobering reminder of the constant threats our Jewish community faces. There is a reason you see police cars in the parking lots during services. https://t.co/J1FxnQMHPZ
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) January 16, 2022
“This heinous attack on a synagogue, a sacred and inviolable place of worship – and its congregants in the act of prayer – is utterly unacceptable,” said Council Secretary-General Oussama Jammal.
The FBI identified the hostage-taker as British national Malik Faisal Akram, 44.
Matthew DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, said the captor acted alone with no other involved in the hostage-taking.
US President Joe Biden described the hostage-taking at the synagogue as “an act of terror.”
Addressing the media in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the president, who spoke with Attorney General Merrick Garland about the hostage situation, said: “I wanted to make sure that we got the word out that synagogues and other places of worship that we’re not going to tolerate this. We have the capacity to deal with assault on particularly.”
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk