Nearly 50 members of the Santa Clara community lit candles last Thursday in memory of three Muslim students killed in an alleged hate crime.
During the candlelight vigil, attendees gathered around the Abby Sobrato Mall fountain, which was adorned with candles and posters depicting Yusor Abu-Salha; Yusor’s husband, Deah Barakat; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, all of whom were shot near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Last Tuesday, the three young students were killed in the couple’s apartment by their neighbor, Craig Hicks, after a dispute over parking spaces, according to The New York Times. Many are calling it a hate crime because the father of the girls said the couple believed Hicks harbored animosity toward them based on their religion.
“They were the same age as most of us students, and they shared similar interests and hobbies as many of us,” said Afreen Hasan, president of Santa Clara’s Muslim Student Association. “They had a passion for community service and worked with the homeless community and other communities abroad.”
Attendees offered their condolences and shared their thoughts and feelings.
“It is a great gift in the midst of this tragedy to be able to be gathered as a community, gathered here to honor and respect the victims and their families,” said Maria de la Luz Santana, director of Campus Ministry. “It is a wonderful sign of life in the face of the death of these three young people.
Campus Ministry and the Muslim Student Association hosted the vigil.
Contact Krista Clawson at kclawson @scu.edu or call (408) 554-4852.