Three injured in shooting during Eidul Fitr celebrations in Philadelphia

In World
April 11, 2024



PHILADELPHIA:

A shooting between rival groups left three people wounded at an Eidul Fitr celebration, police in the US city of Philadelphia said.

Police gave no indication that the event itself, an Eidul Fitr party, was targeted.

“We are very, very fortunate today that we did not have more individuals shot and anyone killed,” Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel told reporters.

In mid-afternoon as around 1,000 people were in the park celebrating the end of the holy month, around 30 gunshots rang out, Bethel said. “What we do know is there appear to be two factions within the park, who are now exchanging gunfire,” Bethel said.

Three people were wounded, including an armed 15-year-old who was shot by police. He was hit in the arm and leg.

Five people were arrested including the teen, and five guns were recovered, police said.

“Eid should always be a time of joy for our Muslim neighbors. And I grieve for every member of the Philadelphia Muslim community whose celebration was shattered by gun violence today,” Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

An empty Clara Muhammad Square after an Eid celebration was broken up when shooting erupted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. PHOTO: AFP

An empty Clara Muhammad Square after an Eid celebration was broken up when shooting erupted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. PHOTO: AFP

Earlier this month, a report from an advocacy group reported that discrimination and attacks against Muslims and Palestinians reached a record high in the US in 2023, driven by rising Islamophobia and bias as Israel’s war on Gaza raged late in the year.

Read Anti-Muslim incidents jump in US amid Israel-Gaza war

Complaints totalled 8,061 in 2023, a 56% rise from the year before and the highest since the Council on American-Islamic Relations began records nearly 30 years ago. About 3,600 of those incidents occurred from October to December, CAIR said.

Human rights advocates have similarly reported a global rise in Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian bias and antisemitism since the latest eruption of conflict in the Middle East.

US incidents have included the fatal October stabbing of 6-year-old Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois, the November shooting of three students, tab of Palestinian descent in Vermont and the February stabbing of a Palestinian American man, tab in Texas.

CAIR’s report said 2023 saw a “resurgence of anti-Muslim hate” after the first-ever recorded annual drop in complaints in 2022. In the first nine months of 2023, such incidents averaged around 500 a month before jumping to nearly 1,200 a month in the last quarter.

“The primary force behind this wave of heightened Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine in October 2023,” the report said.

The most numerous complaints in 2023 were in the categories of immigration and asylum, employment discrimination, hate crimes and education discrimination, CAIR said.

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