Ambush at Mosque Raises Specter of Hate

June 21, 2000

Source: The Commercial Appeal

On June 21, 2000, the Commercial Appeal of Memphis, TN published an article about a shooting at Masjid Al-Noor, an East Memphis mosque, as members gathered for morning prayers. The gunman allegedly ambushed a worshiper as he approached the mosque, shot him, and then blasted golf ball-sized holes into the locked doors of the building. Police arrested Brent Fong, who lives next door to the mosque and was charged with attempted first-degree murder and nine counts of reckless endangerment. According to police, Fong said, "I did it, I did it. I'm tired of them disrespecting my family. I couldn't take it anymore." The victim, Najah Abdul Kareem, was taken to a local hospital was shotgun wounds to his pelvis. He was in satisfactory condition. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based advocacy group, asked Memphis officials to investigate the shooting as a possible hate crime.