CAIR-NY Asks NYPD to Probe Bias Motive for Attack on Muslim Outside Queens Mosque

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/5/16) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to investigate a possible bias motive for an alleged attack on a Muslim man outside a Queens mosque.

CAIR-NY is also asking the NYPD to preserve any surveillance video covering the site of the alleged attack.

Mohamed Rasheed Khan, 59, was reportedly attacked by three young men Wednesday night as he was leaving the Center for Islamic Studies on Jamaica Avenue. Khan, who is an American citizen of Guyanese heritage, was wearing traditional Islamic attire at the time of the attack.

The alleged assailants did not steal the victim’s wallet, watch or bicycle, and were reportedly seen laughing as they left the scene of the attack. 

Khan suffered multiple broken bones in his face, fractured ribs and a concussion. He remains unable to speak or open his eyes, and is scheduled for surgery tomorrow at Jamaica Hospital Center.

“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 Executive Director Afaf Nasher, who visited Khan and his family today. “We urge the NYPD to step up patrols in the area of the mosque, particularly during activities associated with the upcoming fast of Ramadan.”

Nasher noted that incidents targeting American Muslims and their religious institutions have spiked in recent months, prompted at least in part by anti-Muslim rhetoric employed by public figures like Donald Trump.

SEE: CAIR Seeks Stepped-Up Police Protection for Colorado Mosque Targeted by Apparent Threat

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

If you believe your rights have been violated, you may call CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or email

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 646-665-7599,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,