Farook Lawyer: Stop Saying 'Muslim Shooters,' This Should Be a Time of Forgiveness

December 5, 2015

A lawyer for the suspected Islamic husband-wife duo responsible for killing 14 people in California chided the press to stop referring to them as "Muslim shooters" Friday afternoon.

"Until there is absolute clear evidence, every headline doesn’t have to say ‘Muslim massacre’ or ‘Muslim shooters,’" Syed Farook's family attorney David Chesley said. "Because it’s going to cause intolerance and what we need right now is forgiveness. I think although there were Muslim people and Muslim families involved in this incident, as a primarily Christian nation, I think we're a people of mercy and forgiveness, and I think we need to avoid bigotry, stereotyping."

Chesley and fellow attorney Mohammad Abuershaid pushed back against the two being linked to terrorism.

"I think the idea of terrorist has been reported since this incident happened," Abuershaid said. "So as I think as more information comes out, the media can start making reports."

However, the massacre in San Bernardino is being investigated by the FBI as an act of terrorism. The New York Times reported Farook's wife Tashfeen Malik pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist organization the same day they carried out their rampage.

Reuters also reported the Islamic State announced in an online radio broadcast that two of its followers had committed the murders.

FBI director James Comey said there was evidence the two, who were killed in a shootout with police the day of the attack, were radicalized and inspired by a foreign terrorist organization, though he added there was no proof yet they were part of a larger cell.