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Man who shot up a mosque in Connecticut apologizes

Man who shot up a mosque in Connecticut apologizes

Writing for the Hartford Courant, Peter Marteka has an update on the man who shot at the exterior of the House of Peace mosque, in Meriden, last November. The shooter, Ted A. Hakey Jr., was drunk at the time, and regretted his actions enough to seek a meeting with the leaders of the mosque, where he apologized and sought to atone.

The leaders found his confession and apology moving, and saw a natural place for him to tell his story at an interfaith dialogue they’ve sponsored, titled True Islam and the Extremists Interfaith Symposium.

Hakey spoke to the attendees about fear, ignorance, and lack of connections in trying to explain his actions, claiming responsibility for the act.

From the article:

As a neighbor, I did have fears, but fear is always when you don’t know something. The unknown is what you are always afraid of. I wish I had come knocked on your door, and if I spent five minutes with you, it would have made all the difference in the world. And I didn’t do that.

No one was injured by the shots, although bullets from Hakey’s high-powered rifle, one of 24, did penetrate into the building. The crime is considered a hate crime, and Hakey will face a sentence of eight to 14 months in prison.

Why do you think Hakey was so afraid? His neighbors mosque, House of Peace, does a great deal of outreach, and even raises money for the local police department. Why do you think Halek was so afraid despite his arsenal of 24 guns and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition?

Photo: Ted Hakey hugs Zahir Mannan from Courant article.
Credit: Peter Casolino / Special To The Courant

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Jerald Liko

Granted that the guy drunkenly shot at a building and should be punished, I thought he had something good to say: “I wish I had come knocked on your door, and if I spent five minutes with you, it would have made all the difference.”

Again, no amount of ignorance justifies shooting at someone. But this guy is accurately identifying ignorance as the primary problem in Muslim/Christian relations, and that’s something.

Here’s hoping the next ignorant guy or gal will read this story and take the five minutes to get the situation straight.

Leslie Scoopmire

He was “afraid” because he feels threatened by Muslims, I imagine, probably ingesting a steady diet of fearmongering from politicians and radio hate-mongers.

More importantly: I wonder if later he will petition to get his guns back? It’s easy to apologize, but he has shot into a house of worship. His untrustworthiness to bear arms is already clearly established. He faces 18-24 months at sentencing, but anything could happen.

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