New York Imam, assistant shot dead; community points to increasing Islamophobila in US [Photos]
Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant, 64-year-old Thara Uddin, were shot at point-blank range just before 2 pm on Saturday in Queens, New York.
A crowd of community members attend a prayer service in a mosque as they gather for the funeral service of Imam Maulama Akonjee in Queens. The Imam and an associate were gunned down after Saturday prayers at the Al-Furqan Jame Mosque. Reuters
Muslim representatives shout slogans as they gather for the funeral service of the Imam. The police on Monday arrested Oscar Morel, a local from the neighbouring borough of Brooklyn, for the murder of the Imam and one of his associate. Reuters
Community representatives move the coffin to the hearse as they gather for the funeral service of the Imam. The police charged Morel, 35, with two counts of second-degree murder. "There is nothing in the preliminary investigation to indicate that they were targeted because of their faith," police told journalists. Reuters
Community members pray next to the coffins of Imam Akonjee. Muslim representatives pointed to growing Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the country in the light of attacks in the US and abroad as well as hostile statements by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Reuters
Muslims pray during the funeral service of the Imam. Last year, hate crimes against Muslims and mosques tripled across the country following extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California. Reuters