Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

There is cause for alarm in Fort Wayne, Indiana following the murder of three young men late last month. The murders, which have yet to be solved or even have an identified motive, are a mystery that is frightening many of those within the community.

Mohamedtaha Omar, Adam Mekki, and Muhannad Tairab–ages 23, 20, and 17 respectively–were shot and killed in what is known as “execution style” in an abandoned house that has been connected to local gang violence in the past. The three boys had no connection to any gangs in the area, which has caused friends and family of the boys to consider other motives for the murders.

Investigators of the murders do not believe the murders were a hate crime, but the community is not convinced. Last year a similar murder of three Muslims occurred in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and citizens in Fort Wayne have taken to social media to spread awareness of the murders, using the tag #OurThreeBoys.

There has been controversy surrounding the issue, especially in regarding it as a hate crime. All three of the boys are not originally from the United States, but only two of them were Muslim.

Although the police force has stated that they do not believe the murders were carried out due to the religious beliefs or regional background, it is considered by many in the Muslim to have been a hate crime. Especially since the murder was carried out in the same way another was, despite the differences in location and time period.

Kahled Beydoun tweeted,

Poor & Working Class

These 3 men killed WED. We still know nothing.  #OurThreeBoys

Another concerned citizen under the name of falasteenia98 tweeted, “Chapel Hill is a hate crime. Fort Wayne is a hate crime. All 6 were shot execution style because of their faith. #FortWayneShooting.”

Earlier this year in Plainfield, the Islamic Society of North America’s mosque had been vandalized, striking fear into the surrounding communities. The possibility of this being a hate crime could cause issues within and around Indiana’s Muslim and Middle Eastern populations.