Retired Muslim woman stabbed to death in New York
A 60-year-old Muslim woman was stabbed to death on a New York street a short distance away from her home on Wednesday night, in what relatives say could be a hate crime.
Nazma Khanam, a retired Bangladeshi-American teacher, was stabbed in the chest as she was walking home with her husband.
Khanam was wearing a headscarf when she was attacked, prompting her family to believe the crime was motivated by anti-Muslim prejudice.
However, police who believe the incident was most likely a botched robbery said there was no evidence to call the incident a hate crime.
"This is a hate crime as she was wearing the attire of a Muslim woman," the victim's nephew Mohammad Rahman, told BDNews.com. "They took nothing."
"I don't think as a 60-year-old woman she has any enemies," local resident Durud Miah told NBC 4.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has urged the police to investigate whether the killing of the mother-of-three was an anti-Muslim crime.
"Because of the recent killings of Muslims in Queens, and because of the growing number of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide resulting from the increasing Islamophobia in American society, we urge the NYPD to investigate a possible bias motive for this murder," said CAIR-New York executive director Afaf Nasher.
The victim was the aunt of a New York Transit Police officer identified as Humayun Kabir.
"Very sad to announce the death of the aunt of our member PO Kabir," NYPD Muslim Officers Society tweeted. "Let's catch the perp."
Khanam's death comes a few weeks after Imam Maulama Akonkee and his assistant Thara Uddin were shot dead in broad daylight, in an incident that has kept the city’s Muslim community on edge.
The suspected gunman, Oscar Morel, has been charged with first and second-degree murder, as well as a charge of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.