Man held for ‘Muslim beard’ killing

Johannesburg - Police have arrested one of the men suspected of beating a Muslim man to death in Magaliesburg, the Sunday Times reported.

The man was arrested on Saturday night in Hartbeespoort, North West, police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila told the paper.

Muhammad Fayaaz Kazi, 27, from Ventersdorp, and his father's friend Anser Mahmood, were attacked at a Chicken Licken outlet in Magaliesburg on Monday.

Mahmood said two white men made fun of Kazi's beard in Afrikaans and insulted them.

Kazi, who understood Afrikaans, confronted the two men and a fight broke out. Both Kazi and his friend were attacked and the two white men fled the scene. Kazi later died in Potchefstroom Hospital.

The killing resulted in an outpouring of condolences, outrage, and calls for the alleged killers to be arrested.

The Media Review Network (MRN) on Sunday welcomed news of the arrest. It called on all law enforcement agencies to be especially vigilant in regard to crimes related to racism, religious bigotry, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.

“It is unfair and beyond comprehension that the victim of atrocious violence dies at the hands of a bigot for no reason other than being profiled a Muslim,” the MRN said. - Sapa