By Victor Ochieng
There were at least three attacks involving Muslims in the United States last weekend. In one of the attacks, which occurred on Sunday, two Muslim teenagers were seriously beaten outside a mosque. The assailant shouted religious slurs and called the victims terrorists. But even with such utterances, the New York Police Department has refused to treat the attack as hate crime.
According to a report released by the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a 16-year-old boy was brutally beaten outside a mosque as he took a short break from prayers. CAIR released a surveillance footage showing the victim being kicked and punched by the attacker on the street. Another teenager who was riding on a bicycle past the first victim was also chased and attacked.
In their statement, CAIR said witnesses heard the attacker shouting, “You Muslims are the cause of all the problems of the world” and called the victims “terrorists.”
But even with all such that, NYPD isn’t convinced they’re dealing with a hate crime case.
Sources from within the law enforcement agency revealed that NYPD hate crimes unit refused to acknowledge the incident as bias crime. The police version says the two youths were attacked by a 37-year-old man after he found them harassing his 40-year-old girlfriend at a parking.
“The hate crimes unit investigated it and determined that this incident is not a hate crime,” said police spokesperson Sgt. Brendan Ryan.
The police said the two teens harassed the woman for close to an hour before her boyfriend emerged and beat them up. The two youngsters even tried to forcefully open the woman’s door and poked their heads into the car window, Ryan added.
CAIR is, however, asking the police not to rush into conclusions before the attacker is apprehended and grilled.
“Our position is, let’s keep all possibilities open, at least until the assailant is arrested and questioned,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of CAIR’s New York chapter.
One of the teens suffered cuts, concussion, bruises and grave swelling. He’d to be taken to Lutheran Hospital for medical attention. The group says the second victim suffered a black eye.
Sources from within the police department reveals that investigations are still underway and they’re doing their best possible to bring the attacker to book.
Several people have asked the police to speed up the investigations and have the assailant questioned to establish the motive of his heinous act.