By Janelle Burell, For CBS New York, On Sep 1st 2016, Read Original
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on police to investigate a possible bias motive in the fatal stabbing of a Muslim woman in Queens who was the aunt of an NYPD officer.
It happened around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday on Normal Road.
Nazma Khanam, 60, was walking home with her husband, who was trailing behind her by about a block, when police said someone stabbed her in the chest, 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reported.
She was taken to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The mother of three is a native of Bangladesh. She is also the aunt of an NYPD officer, according to the NYPD Muslim Officer Society. The group tweeted out their condolences overnight, saying it was a member of their organization who lost a loved one.
“She is a very quiet, gentle lady, amazing lady and she’s a teacher,” a family friend told Schuck. “So we’re hoping the police will find out what is the reason and all these things and we’re praying for her soul.”
CAIR-NY said Khanam was wearing Islamic attire at the time of the stabbing.
“Because of the recent killings of Muslims in Queens, and because of the growing number of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide resulting from the increasing Islamophobia in American society, we urge the NYPD to investigate a possible bias motive for this murder,” CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said in a statement.
Last month, a man was charged in connection with shooting deaths of a Queens imam and his associate after they left a mosque in Ozone Park. Members of the mosque said the shooting was a hate crime, but investigators said the alleged motive is not clear.
In Wednesday’s case, there is nothing yet to indicate Khanam was targeted because of race or religion. Police are investigating the incident as a robbery attempt, though nothing was taken.
“A 60-year-old woman, I don’t think she would have an enemy,” one nearby resident told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “I think this is another hate crime or something wrong in the city.”
Other residents said they were frightened by the attack.
“It makes me want to change my routine,” one neighbor said. “It’s just numbing — it’s hard to find words.”
The investigation is ongoing.