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Mosque Stabbing Stuns US Muslims

Published: 19/11/2012 01:18:10 PM GMT
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QUEENS, New York - A US Muslim man has been viciously stabbed in front of a mosque in New York by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim slurs, to the shock of the Muslim community.“He had him from the backside, his head - also (more)

QUEENS, New York - A US Muslim man has been viciously stabbed in front of a mosque in New York by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim slurs, to the shock of the Muslim community.

“He had him from the backside, his head - also he bit his nose,” Ehtashamuo Hhuqe, a fellow worshiper at the mosque in Queens, told WABC TV station on Monday, November 19.“Twelve stitches - this is very horrible.”

Ahmad Bashir, 57, was walking into the Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque in Flushing, Queens, early Sunday when he was attacked.

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The attacker plunged a knife into the body of the Muslim worshipper in the mosque stairwell.

“I'm going to kill you, Muslim,” shouted the assailant as he stabbed the worshipper.

Bashir, an Afghani immigrant who immigrated to the US in 1989, walked down the stairs and called to a fellow worshipper for help.

“He was a very nice person,” worshipper Hhuge said of the Muslim victim.

“He came early in the morning to open the door, sit in my mosque and prepare everything.

“It is really unexpected,” a shocked Hhuge said.

Faruk Baber, another worshipper at Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque, was also shocked.

"Five times a day, every day he makes the call, you hear it outside on the speakers, a very friendly, very pleasant personality," Baber said.

Bashir was rushed to New York Hospital Queens, where doctors gave the 57-year-old dozens of stitches in order to close his severe wounds in his head, face, back and leg.

Police are now hunting for the attacker, who fled the scene after stabbing him. He is described as a Hispanic male in his 40s.

Hate Crime

Denouncing the hateful attack, US Muslims have called on the FBI to investigate the hate crime.

"The FBI should add its resources to the investigation of this apparent hate crime," Muneer Awad, Executive Director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), said in a statement obtained by

“State and national leaders should address the rising level of anti-Muslim bigotry that inevitably results in such disturbing incidents.”

Bashir's case is not the first in the US.

In October, CAIR's Washington state chapter (CAIR-WA) called on the FBI to investigate an apparent anti-Muslim hate attack on a Sikh taxi driver in that state.

The driver was attacked by a man shouting anti-Muslim slurs after he commented on the cabbie's turban.

US Muslims, estimated at between six to eight million, have been sensing a growing hostility following a hearing presented by Republican representative Peter King on what he described as “radicalization” of US Muslims.

A recent report by CAIR, the University of California and Berkeley's Center for Race and Gender found that Islamophobia in the US is on the rise.

A US survey had also revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.

A recent Gallup poll had found that 43 percent of Americans Nationwide admitted to feeling at least “a little” prejudice against Muslims.

Missing his daily prayers for the first time in his life, Bashir said the attack would not change his routine of opening the mosque early in the morning."That's my religion," he told Wall Street Journal. "It must happen."

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