NEW YORK: In a suspected case of hate crime, a 60-year-old Muslim woman wearing a headscarf was brutally stabbed to death by unknown persons in New York, nearly two weeks after a Bangladeshi-origin imam of a mosque and his associate were killed.
They were just blocks away from their home when the attacker struck about 9:15 pm on Wednesday, New York Daily News reported.
Her asthma-stricken husband found her on a Queens sidewalk in Jamaica Hills with a 4-inch knife lodged in her chest, the sources said.
Ms Khanam, married for 45 years to Mr Khan, have three children. They moved to the US from Bangladesh with her husband and youngest son in 2009. They all became citizens in June.
“Somebody killed me,” a mortally-wounded Ms Khanam told her husband as he cradled her in his arms, her blood spilling out onto his hands, relatives said.
She was wearing traditional Muslim attire — headscarf — when the assailants struck. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she died.
“He (Khan) is screaming and crying, ‘My wife just came to this country to just get killed! We had a better life in Bangladesh!,” the victim’s nephew Humayun Kabir, who is a policeman, said yesterday.
The attack prompted Ms Khanam’s relatives to denounce the slaying as a hate crime.
“They did not take her phone, pocketbook, bag, nothing. We feel this is a hate crime… We want justice,” the victim’s another nephew Mohammad Rahman said.
Investigators, however, believe Ms Khanam may have been the target of a robbery attempt — even though she was found with all of her possessions, police sources said.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is monitoring the probe. The attack was not captured on camera but a man was recorded sprinting away moments later.
Relatives will escort her body to Bangladesh for burial. Kabir’s uncle said “We want proper justice for this”.
Some in the Muslim community drew parallels to the murder of a Queens imam and his friend in Ozone Park.
A 55-year old Bangladeshi-American Imam at a mosque here and his assistant were shot dead from point blank range by a lone gunman in broad daylight amid growing concerns across America over rising Islamophobic rhetoric.
Police said Imam Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, 64, were walking home after midday prayers at Al-Furqan Jame Masjid Mosque when they were approached from behind by a male with medium complexion who was dressed in a dark polo shirt and shorts.