Attack on Muslim outside mosque should be investigated as a hate crime – civil rights group

Center for Islamic Studies Inc. ©
The NYPD has released a video showing an attack on a Muslim American leaving a Queens, New York mosque last week following demands from Muslim advocacy groups pushing for a hate crime investigation.

Mohamed Rasheed Khan was riding his bicycle home from the Jamaica, Queens mosque after attending services on June 1. Three men punched him in the head and face as he was still outside the mosque, knocking him off of his bicycle.

In response to the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York (CAIR-NY) is encouraging the New York Police Department to investigate this as a potential bias – or hate – crime.

According to CAIR, none of Khan’s belongings were stolen and his traditional clothing coupled with the location of the attack indicates that the attack may have been motivated by bias, telling WNBC, “we urge law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this troubling incident.

CAIR-NY also expressed concern for Muslims during the holy season of Ramadan, which began Sunday evening and encourages nightly prayers.

"We urge the NYPD to step up patrols in the area of the mosque, particularly during activities associated with the upcoming fast of Ramadan," the advocacy group said.

As for Khan, 59, he has been hospitalized with a concussion and face and rib fractures. The New York Post reported that he was scheduled to receive surgery on Monday.

"My uncle is an American citizen that did not deserve this," Khan’s niece told WNBC.