NEW YORK, N.Y., 12/7/15) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the FBI to investigate as a possible hate crime an attack on a Muslim store owner this past Saturday.
Sarker Haque, owner of Fatima Food Mart in Astoria, Queens, was attacked by a customer who entered his store reportedly asking if everything was free. He then attacked Haque multiple times allegedly saying, “I’ll kill Muslims.” He continued attacking him until another customer entered the store and called police. Police arrested the attacker, described a white man in his 50s.
Haque was rushed to Mount Saini hospital of Queens with bleeding, bruising and a dislocated hand. He has since been released from the hospital.
“I thought I was going to die,” Haque reported to CAIR-NY.
“We call on local and federal authorities to investigate this attack as a hate crime and urge American Muslims to remain vigilant and take extra safety measures,” said CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique. “The lives of American Muslims have been placed in danger by the rising anti-Muslim hysteria in our nation and by the inflammatory rhetoric used by a number of national public figures.”
This incident fit a pattern of increased hate-motivated crimes and bias incidents nationwide targeting persons and property associated, or perceived to be associated, with Islam and the American Muslim community since the Paris attacks.
CAIR-NY is also looking into a recent report of a bias-motivated attack on a Muslim sixth grader.
The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is also asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/civil-rights/report-an-incident/view/form.html
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.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique 914-266-2122, firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com