New York - The aunt of a Muslim traffic officer was stabbed to death not far from her home in Queens yesterday.
New York – The aunt of a Muslim traffic officer was stabbed to death not far from her home in Queens yesterday.
The slaying follows other attacks on Muslims which have left many American Muslims concerned for their safety.
Nazma Khanam, 60, was found stabbed in the chest and unconscious when police arrived at the scene.
Khanam was walking in front of her husband when she was stabbed. But he did not see the actual attack.
“Her husband was behind her one and a half blocks away and didn’t see nothing,” said Mohammed Rahman, a nephew of the victim. “He didn’t realize somebody stabbed his wife,” Rahman told PIX 11-TV.
Khanam, who is originally from Bangladesh, was wearing traditional Islamic clothing and a hijab which covers the hair and neck of a woman at the time of the incident.
Muslims from Bangladeshi are largely represented in the traffic officer bureau, which is a division of the New York Police Department.
New York City Muslims, especially Queens residents, are on edge since the shootings of an Imam and associate walking home from the masjid. They had just prayed the afternoon prayer together.
Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55 and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64, were both shot execution-style in the back of the head after leaving the mosque in Cypress Hills, a neighborhood in Queens this month. Both were Muslims from Bangladesh.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio addressed mourners at their funeral and promised to provide extra police presence at mosques throughout the city.
Afterward the funeral, the crowd of mourners protested and chanted “we want justice” while holding signs that said, “STOP HATE CRIMES.”
American Muslims, especially New Yorkers, are concerned about security since the holy day of Eid al Adha may fall on September 11, the fifteen-year anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing in 2001.
In a recent New York Times article, Habeeb Ahmed, president of the Islamic Center of Long Island, said he was concerned people would say: “Look at these Muslims, they are celebrating 9/11.”
This occurs in an unusually hostile social and political environment in America in which “hate crimes” against Muslims have increased.
Earlier this month, Khalid Jabara, 31, a Lebanese-American man was gunned down on his front porch while on his cell phone talking with his mother. His neighbor, Vernon Majors, 61, had harassed the family for years, seriously injured the mother with his car, and called them names like “filthy Lebanese” and “Moozlims” before allegedly shooting Jabara at close range.
Last year, Muslim store owner Sarker Haque was punched repeatedly and given a black eye by a customer in Queens. When Haque asked why the attacker did it, he said, “I kill Muslims!”
Hate crimes targeting Muslims, their businesses and mosques have tripled since 2015. Hijab-wearing girls have been harassed and cursed. Mosques have been victim to arson and vandalism.
In the stabbing case of Khanam, police initially said they were investigating it as a robbery. However, Rahman said his aunt had no loss of property. Now a decision was made to look in the murder as a hate crime.