Members of several different Muslim organizations were at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday afternoon, to honor the three Portland men who defended two Muslim women on a train Saturday, when the suspect who was directing what is being called hate speech at the women attacked with a knife, killing two men and sending third to a hospital.
Members of the UCF Muslim Students Association, the Center for Arabic Islamic Relations or CAIR, and the Muslim Women’s Organization were just some of the groups who participated in the event honoring Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, the third man who is expected to survive.
“What they did will not be forgotten.” said Ahmed Azmy of the MSA “They did not see color or religion. They saw something wrong and they decided to stand up and do the right thing.”
Attendees signed letters for the victims and took turns each voicing their appreciation for their bravery. The attack took place on just before the start of Ramadan which is currently being observed by Muslims around the world. The suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian of North Portland is in custody and has a record criminal behavior and documented extremist behavior on social media.
“Terrorism is terrorism. It has no face. It has no religion. It has hate.” said Rasha Mubarak, Central Florida Director of CAIR Florida “Ricky, Taisein, and Micah stared into the eyes of bigotry. What they had during this time was love.”
The city of Portland has praised Best, Meche, and Fletcher and members of the Muslim community from all over the country have honored them for their actions.