MAI — “Faiths come together to honor victim of road rage shooting”

David McAnally, WTHR, March 2019

In a Christian church Friday night, the Islamic call to evening prayer.

Muslim worshipers were facing Mecca on this holy day. But many faiths came together under one roof – for one reason.

“A young, vibrant, loving and intelligent Hoosier is no longer with us,” said Aliya Amin with the Muslim Alliance of Indiana. “No community should have to mourn, looking over the shoulders for fear of hate.”

They mourned Mustafa Ayoubi, a 32-year-old IU Kelley School of Business grad shot to death after a road rage incident. The shooter, Dustin Passarelli, claims self defense. Witnesses say Passarelli shouted anti-Muslim insults at Ayoubi before shooting him at least seven times in the back.

“Help us in our mission, our mission to get justice for Mustafa and to prevent such heinous and hate-motivated crimes from ever destroying another family like it has ours today,” said the victim’s brother Mohammad Khalid Ayoubi.

In crowded All Saints Cathedral on Monument Circle, he recalled the family’s move from Afghanistan after 2001, becoming U.S. citizens. He recalled his late brother taught his siblings to be open-minded.

Speaking for the family, he said “we want Mustafa’s story to be a warning to all the bigots, all the racists, all the people filled with hate that we will not stay quiet.”

The family and others called for an anti-hate crimes law. Too late to help his brother, but they say Mustafa would have laid down his life to aid others.

“We are here because we have lost a loving Hoosier to hate.”

The victim’s sister said Moustafa Ayoubi practiced his right to religious freedom.

“He was killed because somebody could not tolerate that,” she said. “So today, we are not just lost. We are lost and we are broken.”

Speakers of many faiths embraced the Ayoubi family. They all crossed the street in a sea of candles to Monument Circle.

“Give us grace fearlessly to contend with evil,” a pastor prayed, amid candles lit in the victim’s memory.

In the church and again at the Circle, there were calls for a meaningful hate crimes law in Indiana.

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