Hate haunts Queens mosque

Police are looking for the man pictured, who cops allege flashed a gun and shouted anti-Muslim threats in Kew Garden Hills. Sketch courtesy NYPD
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A prominent figure in the Queens Muslim community called for solidarity in the wake of a second possible hate crime at a Kew Garden Hills mosque last Friday, just five months after a 57-year-old man was stabbed at the same site in an early morning anti-Muslim attack.

“It is a good opportunity for the people in the area to show that being different doesn’t necessarily mean living in tension,” said Imam Shamsi Ali, director of the Jamaica Muslim Center.

In the latest incident, a man left the Masjid al-Saaliheen mosque, at 72-55 Kissena Blvd., at about 8 p.m. when he noticed someone following his car in a dark SUV, police said.

When the mosque-goer stopped for a red light at the corner of Union Turnpike and 199th Street, the suspect pulled up beside him in an SUV and flashed a firearm while shouting death threats and anti-Muslim statements, according to police. The suspect then fled the scene.

Police released a sketch in connection with the crime, describing the suspect as a mustachioed man in his late 50s with a light complexion and dark hair and wearing a dark suit jacket with an emblem patch on the left pocket. He may have been driving a Toyota SUV.

This was not the mosque’s first brush with violence.

A similar incident happened in November, according to police, when a 57-year-old man was stabbed while he was opening the house of worship.

On Nov. 18, Bashir Amad was preparing Masjid al-Saaliheen for morning prayers at about 5 a.m. when police say he was beaten, bitten and stabbed by a suspect police described as a 6-foot-tall white man between the ages of 35 and 45 weighing 180 pounds.

According to the NYPD, the man also shouted anti-Muslim statements before the ambush.

In the wake of the November attack, religious leaders from across Flushing and city Comptroller John Liu held a news conference to express solidarity and religious tolerance.

Ali helped organize the rally with leaders from Hindu and Jewish organizations in November, and said he hopes Flushing’s diversity will encourage residents to treat each other with respect.

“Muslims might be the victim today, but you don’t know who is going to be the victim the next day,” he said. “We must use the opportunity to build partnerships.”

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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Reader Feedback

Lauren from says:
If this keeps up, hopefully muslims will get an idea of how the non-muslims feel. muslims commit atrocities against non-muslims, ex-muslims and other muslims all the time. If they feel a hate crime has been committed, so what? They hate us. We can hate them right back
April 18, 2013, 12:58 pm
Aladin from Nj says:
Lauren, on what basis do you make that bold statement that "Muslims hate us" or commit atrocities against non-Muslims, ex-Muslims, and Muslims themselves. I'm sorry my sister but you have been clearly misinformed. I don't doubt that there are some extremists in the world, but they exist among any group. The rest is extremely exaggerated by media. Do you know that Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, in Europe, and the world? It is also the most ethnically diverse religion in the world. We don't support violence or hate non-Muslims. On the contrary, we are taught to lead by example with great manners and character. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have and I encourage you to do your research. May God guide and bless you.
April 18, 2013, 1:53 pm
Alex from Forest Hills says:
Lauren, whether you happen to be an idiot or not, is not my concern. However, the statement you make is quite idiotic. Mulsims make up 25% of the world population. If all of them quite is indeed an "enemy", then I fear we got far bigger problems in our hand. As a Christian, not all of us condemn the entire Jewish population for killing Jesus...So please exercise a bit more intelligence before you spew hate randomly.
April 18, 2013, 2:29 pm
sprayman0 from yahoo says:
Hey Aladin, I do want to believe there are muslims in the world which are peaceful. However one must face facts,islam murders more people in one day thanthe KKK has in the past 50 years,islam murders more people each years than all 350 years of the spanish inquisition,
April 18, 2013, 2:52 pm
Ahmed from Elmhurst says:
Spraymano, fact is fact? Seriously? I imagine your either an inbred or simply a end result of a mutated dna...Research the Inquistion, the Holocaust, Joseph Stalin, the Tibetian, Catholic perseuction of witchcraft, Red Revolution, the British genocide...And than lets talk
April 18, 2013, 3:01 pm
Lauren says:
" on what basis do you make that bold statement that "Muslims hate us" or commit atrocities against non-Muslims, ex-Muslims, and Muslims themselves. "

Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's based on the persecution of Christians in countries like Pakistan and Nigeria, churches being bombed or forced to close, girls in Afghanistan risking their lives just to go to school, sunnis and shiities constantly fighting each other, people being killed or tortured for leaving islam, people being threatened for refusing to embrace islam. Right now, in Iran an ex-muslim (saeed abedini) who became a pastor is now sitting in jail being beaten on a daily basis because he refuses to recant his faith and return to islam. Those kind of things just don't seem to give me the impression of muslims being sweet, warm and fuzzy. I imagine that if I traveled to Saudi Arabia, for example and offered free copies of the Bible, my welcome won't be very warm. But, what do I know?

"I'm sorry my sister"

Sister? Yeah, right.

"The rest is extremely exaggerated by media"

Naturally if it makes your religion or beliefs look bad, it has to be a media exaggeration. Go figure.

"Do you know that Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, in Europe, and the world?"

Do you know that most new muslims leave islam in a few years? Most new muslims are bred, not converted.

"We don't support violence or hate non-Muslims"

Yet, many muslims are dead silent when violence is committed against non-muslims.
April 18, 2013, 6:37 pm
Tni from NYC says:
Most likely a FAKE hatecrime report. Muslims have been uncovered across Europe to make FAKE hatecrime reports, that are actually staged and of their own making. So be careful.
April 19, 2013, 1:08 pm
Derg from MI says:
When I first read this article I was like, "Nuh-uh. I've never heard Muslim use those excuses." but, EVERY SINGLE ONE is present in the comments section, here!

April 28, 2013, 12:24 pm
Slivia Mercedes from Bronx says:

Jason J-boi Lewis has multiple warrants out for his arrest.

Maybe the NYPD should show him how law abiding citizens feels and throw him in jail along with his criminal dirty negrita sister.
April 28, 2013, 6:22 pm
Silvia, with all that time you spend lying on your back, it's amazing that you found the time to reply to a message that's almost 2 weeks old.
May 1, 2013, 2:43 am

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