Jewish group expresses solidarity with Muslims after imam is murdered in Queens

According to police, the gunman approached the men from behind and shot both in the head at close range in the Ozone Park neighborhood.

By
August 14, 2016 15:42
1 minute read.
Al-Furqan Jame Mosque in Ozone Park

Community members pray outside the Al-Furqan Jame Mosque in Ozone Park after imam Maulama Akonjee and friend Thara Uddin were killed in the Queens borough of New York City. (photo credit: KENA BETANCUR / AFP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

NEW YORK - The Anti-Defamation League expressed solidarity with the Muslim community on Sunday after an imam and and another Muslim walking with him were fatally shot by a lone gunman. The double murder happened on Saturday following afternoon prayers at a mosque in the New York City borough of Queens.

According to police, the gunman approached the men from behind and shot both in the head at close range in the Ozone Park neighborhood. No arrests have been made.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


While the motive for the shooting was not immediately known and no evidence has been uncovered that the two men were targeted because of their faith, some in the Muslim community have spoken out against Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, blaming him for creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia.

The victims, identified as Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were both wearing religious garb at the time of shooting, police said.

The ADL said it is shocked and horrified at the murder. ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein also urged the NYPD to investigate it as a possible hate crime.

“Unfortunately, such incidents have the potential to make communities feel unsafe and vulnerable,” he said. “However, the Muslim community should know that greater New York stands united with them during this extremely difficult time.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group known by the acronym CAIR, said Uddin was an associate of the imam.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


"These were two very beloved people," Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of CAIR, told Reuters. "There is a deep sense of mourning and an overwhelming cry for justice to be served."

"We are calling for all people, of all faiths, to rally with compassion and with a sense of vigilance so that justice can be served," Nasher said. “You can’t go up to a person and shoot them in the head and not be motivated by hatred.”

The suspect was seen by witnesses fleeing the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.

Reuters contributed to this story.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 22, 2018
NJ store closes after a century of serving bar mitzvah boys, and mobsters

By JTA