This photo shows members of the Muslim community praying outside the Al-Furqan Jame Mosque in Ozone Park after two members were killed in NYC’s Queens borough on Saturday. The gatherers reportedly shouted, “We want justice!” after the incident, which claimed the lives of two peaceful men.
The facts of the case are grim. Imam Maulama Akonjee and his associate, Thara Uddin, were each shot in the head outside the mosque. They both died in what members feel may be a hate crime against the Muslim religion. The two men were headed home after their afternoon prayers, and witnesses told authorities they heard shots fired, and a man with a large handgun was reportedly spotted barrelling down the street after the incident.
Fox News spoke with several of the mosque’s worshippers. The outlet quotes Shahin Chowdhury as claiming that he and other members “had felt animosity lately, with people cursing while passing the mosque.” Chowdhury says he took precautions and warned others to be careful while wearing traditional clothing. Another member, Millat Uddin, reveals that the entire “community’s heart is totally broken” and that Akonjee was a very pious leader.
The New York Daily News reports that members of the mosque are calling out Donald Trump as a motivator in the recent rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric aimed at their community. Queens resident Khairul Islam is quoted as saying, “That’s not what America is about. We blame Donald Trump for this … Trump and his drama [have] created Islamophobia.”