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Imam gunned down in NYC, authorities ‘investigating as a hate crime’

US Politics
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In what witnesses describe as a targeted attackImam Alala Uddin Akongi, 55, of Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque in Ozone Park, Queens, was murdered this afternoon as he was walking home from afternoon prayers with his assistant Thara Uddin, 64. NewYork CBS local reports both men were shot in the head. Uddin died from his wounds 4 hours later. The killer, wielding a large handgun, fled the scene on foot.

New York’s PX11 TV reported, “According to sources, a man walked over to the men and allegedly shot them both.” Police sources originally said the motive appeared to be robbery. And the NY Daily News reported the police determined it was not a hate crime:

Police, without providing a motive, said initially that the shooting was not a hate crime. The gunfire erupted near a storage facility and a block away from the elevated A train station, officials said.

However, residents were not convinced:

This is a developing story, and the New York Post now reports authorities are investigating it as a hate crime, and some residents are blaming Donald Trump.

“First it was two, and then he goes, ‘Boom! Boom! Boom!’ ” said the resident, who didn’t want to be named.

He looked out to see a man with a gun running down the street.

It appeared the shooter picked his targets, the resident said.

“There was a carload of people across the street, and a girl across the street, and he just targeted these two guys,” the resident said.

….

The violence quickly heightened tensions in the neighborhood, where residents didn’t hesitate to label the shooting a hate crime — and pinned the blame on Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been accused of stoking racism with his campaign.

“Donald Trump is responsible!” some in the crowd yelled. Others chanted, “We want justice today, not tomorrow!” and“Hate crime!”

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About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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8 Responses

  1. Kay24
    Kay24
    August 13, 2016, 9:53 pm

    It could very well be the result of years of Islamaphobia, and the crazy rantings of a Presidential candidate. It is unfortunate that this nation is now experiencing hatred in all levels, whether religion, color, or political leanings. How can we preach to other nations about democracy and equality when we cannot get our act together? The Drumpf has unleashed the simmering hatred for Muslims, and it seems to be acceptable by many Americans as the norm.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      August 13, 2016, 10:52 pm

      Years of Islamaphobia and a lifetime of indoctrination. I can’t remember any significant event, or entertainment show where Arabs/Muslims were not shown as backwards and evil. I would go so far as to suggest that for a lot of people Arabs and Muslims are interchangeable terms.

      I hope this is not a hate crime. To my mind it doesn’t lessen the crime itself but it does limit the implications of the motive.

      • Kay24
        Kay24
        August 14, 2016, 7:26 am

        Unfortunately, like most other countries, we too have our share of ignorant and easily swayed citizens, who are naive enough to believe the deliberate lies, that paint over 1.6 billion people as ALL evil and dangerous. To a large extent the media also plays a huge part in this, sensationalizing the narrative just to have ratings. There should be harsher sentences for hate crimes, although I am not sure it would be a deterrent to these crimes.

        I have linked this before, but it is relevant to what is going on here in the US.

        https://christopherengland.com/2015/01/05/the-islamophobia-news-algorithm/

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      August 15, 2016, 4:20 pm

      Police sources originally said the motive appeared to be robbery…no evidence of it being a hate crime!!

      No evidence of it being a robbery as nothing was taken…all evidence points to hate crime. The authorities don’t like to call attacks on any non Jews religious hate crimes as they like stats that say the vast majority of religious hate crimes are against Jews (which is completely ridiculous as can be seen once one drills down into the events that get classified as hate crimes against Jews — but that’s for another day).

      Now that the trial balloon denial of this being not being a hate crime sank, the media/establishment goes to the next narrative. Blame it on Trump. Forget the past decade of Zionist groups creating massive Muslim hating propaganda (Pam Geller, David Horowitz, Charlie Jacobs, Hell, even Bull Maher). Blame it on Trump!

      Give me a break. Trump unleashed nothing.

  2. eljay
    eljay
    August 13, 2016, 11:57 pm

    Police, without providing a motive, said initially that the shooting was not a hate crime. …

    The violence quickly heightened tensions in the neighborhood, where residents didn’t hesitate to label the shooting a hate crime — and pinned the blame on Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has been accused of stoking racism with his campaign.

    They should just call it an act of terrorism (or “terror”, as is the fad these days) like they do when a Muslim targets non-Muslims as a result of incitement against non-Muslims.

  3. silamcuz
    silamcuz
    August 14, 2016, 1:55 am

    How many Imams along with their wives and children are annihilated during a routine drone bombing mission in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq?

    • Mary T
      Mary T
      August 14, 2016, 6:44 pm

      What is your point? I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say.

      • silamcuz
        silamcuz
        August 19, 2016, 1:27 am

        If the US government can and does indiscriminately bomb and kill multitudes of innocent black and brown civilians in foreign countries, it kind of calls into question the ability and commitment of the government in providing a safe and protected environment for the same folks in the country.

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