Religious leaders denounce Queens mosque attack
by Andrew Pavia
Nov 28, 2012 | 1410 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Imam Shamsi Ali, Comptroller John Liu and State Senator Toby Stavisky in front of the Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque demanding justice for a stabbing victim Bahir Ahmad.
Imam Shamsi Ali, Comptroller John Liu and State Senator Toby Stavisky in front of the Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque demanding justice for a stabbing victim Bahir Ahmad.
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Members of various religious faiths came together last week to demand justice for Bahir Ahmad, 57, who was attacked and stabbed in front of the Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque on Sunday, November 18.

Ahmad suffered stabbing wounds to his torso and had to be taken to Booth Memorial Hospital. He is expected to recover from the attack.

The incident took place in front of the mosque, located at 72-55 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, as Ahmad was opening up the mosque for morning prayers.

Police would later report that the suspect made anti-Muslim statements during the assault. However, police have not technically classified it as a hate crime yet.

People representing the Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Christian faiths stood in front of the mosque to show their support for the capture of the man responsible for stabbing Ahmad.

“An attack to one of us is an attack to all of us,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, a Queens Imam and community activist. “I reach out to our Jewish friends, to the Hindus, to the Buddhists to the Christian leaders and to everyone in helping bring the criminal to justice.”

At the press conference, Muslim leaders spoke about the need for restraint and pleaded with the community not to take matters into their own hands.

Highlight the diversity of Queens, State Senator Toby Stavisky said that while she was campaigning at a kosher supermarket just a few blocks away, she heard the Muslim call to prayer. Comptroller John Liu added that there is no place for a crime like this in the most diverse county in the country.

“Hate has no place in New York City, and the stabbing of Bashir Ahmad outside a Queens mosque is horrifying,” he said.

Liu went on to say that while the criminal is at fault, city policies might be making the problem worse.

“Unfortunately, when Muslims are singled out for profiling, surveillance and other discriminatory action, hate crimes such as this are more likely,” he said, explaining that in the minds of criminals those polices justify their actions. “By all accounts this is a hate crime.”

The suspect is described as male, white and approximately 35 to 45 years old. He is 6’0” and weighs roughly 180 pounds, with blue eyes and a light complexion.

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