Supporters demanded yesterday (June 5) that the New York Police Department investigate the alleged assault of a 59-year-old Muslim man outside a Queens, New York, mosque for possible racist and Islamophobic motivations.
Mohamed Rasheed Khan was hospitalized with a concussion and fractures to his ribs and face after three young men attacked him Wednesday night (June 1) while he rode his bicycle away from the mosque. His friend told ABC 7 that the attackers laughed after beating Khan.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) New York chapter called for the NYPD to investigate possible Islamophobic bias in the assault. They noted that the attackers, whose races are not yet known, didn’t take anything from Khan, a Guyanese-American who wore traditional Muslim garb. "Because of the location of the attack outside a mosque, the Islamic attire of the victim, and because nothing was stolen by the alleged attackers, we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident," said CAIR-NY’s executive director Afaf Nasher in a statement e-mailed to Colorlines yesterday. Officials told ABC 7 that while the NYPD is not yet investigating the assault as a hate crime, the Hate Crime Task Force was informed of the attack’s possible racist nature.
Khan is scheduled for surgery today (June 6). The attack coincided with the beginning of Ramadan.