Feb. 17, 2015 By Michael Florio
Local politicians will be holding a vigil tonight at MAS Queens Community Center, located at 25-15 Steinway Street, in memory of the three Muslim students who were shot and killed last week in North Carolina.
Councilman Costa Constantinides, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Arivella Simotas will be hosting the vigil at 6:30 pm.
Constantinides said that the community should come together and remember all those who have lost their lives due to discrimination.
“Whether you live in France, Denmark, Egypt, or the United States, all should feel free to worship as their conscience guides them without the fear of violent reprisal,” Constantinides said.
Gianaris stated that the vigil is the necessary response following crimes related to religious discrimination. He said that such discrimination has taken place around the world, such as the murders of Muslim students at Chapel Hill, to recent anti-Semitic killings in Europe to the violence against Christians in the Middle East.
“When faced with violent acts of hatred, it is important for areas as diverse as Queens to respond with unity,” Gianaris said. “This kind of violence is not to be tolerated regardless of which group is targeted. We must stand together as a diverse society.”
The three students being remembered are Deah Barakat, 23, a second-year dentistry student at the University of North Carolina (UNC), his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, a recent North Carolina State University graduate and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University.
According to reports, a North Carolina grand jury has indicted Craig Hicks, 46, on three counts of murder and one charge of discharging a firearm.