A Muslim doctor was shot and stabbed outside of a Texas mosque Sunday morning, the latest in a recent spate of anti-Muslim hate crimes in Texas and elsewhere, KTRK (Houston) reported.
Mohammed Imaduddin, a spokesperson for the Madrasah Islamiah mosque, says Dr. Arslan Tajammul had parked his car along the street and was walking toward the building for morning prayers at around 5:30 a.m. when he was approached by three masked assailants on foot. According to The Independent, one of the masked assailants stabbed the doctor, unprovoked, and then someone pulled out a gun and shot him. It is not clear, as of this writing, if the same assailant stabbed and shot Dr. Tajammul, or if they were different assailants. Further, KTRK’s report of this crime only mentions the shooting, and does not mention that the doctor had been stabbed before being shot.
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Imaduddin said that there were children nearby at the time of the shooting.
The injured man was able to throw his cell phone to the crowd gathered at the entrance to the mosque and ask someone to call 911, but the assailants ran away before anyone could get a good enough look at them to provide a description to police.
Dr. Tajammul was taken to a nearby hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. He is expected to survive his injuries.
Imaduddin reportedly believes Sunday’s stabbing was almost certainly an anti-Muslim hate crime; he notes that the victim wasn’t robbed. He also notes that Dr. Tajammul’s shooting is just the latest in a series of anti-Muslim attacks in the Houston area.
“It is very scary right now given the current political climate. From what I hear, this is the third incident this week in the Houston area involving a Muslim getting shot. This is a community place, we have kids that come here, we have people young and old comes here.”
In fact, anti-Muslim violence this week has not been limited to Texas. The day before Dr. Tajammul was shot in Houston, a Muslim man was beaten in Florida, outside the same mosque that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had attended, according to Reuters.
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The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said that the victim, whose name has not been released, was punched in the head and face outside of the mosque at about 4:11 a.m. A suspect, 25-year-old Taylor Anthony Mazzanti, was arrested a short time later and charged with felony battery.
Sheriff Ken Mascara declined to call the assault a hate crime.
“Interviews by the deputies and supervisors on scene and a written witness statement completed by the victim do not indicate any racially-motivated comments were made by the suspect prior to, during or after the incident.”
The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) of Florida sees things differently, however, according to WPBF (Palm Beach). CAIR Florida Communications Director Wilfredo Amr Ruiz says that the white assailant had told the victim, “You Muslims need to get back to your country” before the assault. Ruiz also noted that the mosque has been asking for extra security from the local police, and have been denied.
“For over two weeks, we have been emphasizing that the community from the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce needs to be offered security from the Sheriff’s Office. Unfortunately, our requests were repeatedly ignored. Will someone have to be killed for the Sheriff to provide safety and security to this mosque?”
As of this writing, no arrests have been made in the stabbing and shooting of the Muslim doctor outside a Texas mosque.
[Image via Shutterstock/demidoff]