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CAIR-NY Welcomes Charges Against Alleged Killer of Queens Imam and Associate, Urges Hate Crime Probe

CAIR logo(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/16/16) – The New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the announcement of charges of murder in the first degree brought against the alleged killer of a Queens imam (religious leader) and his associate.

CAIR-NY also urged the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the district attorney to continue the investigation of a possible hate motive.

SEE: Man Charged in Murder of Imam, Assistant Felt ‘Hatred’ Toward Muslims (NY Post)

Imam Ala Uddin Akonjee and his associate Tara Uddin Miah were executed in broad daylight on Saturday, August 13. Both victims wore Islamic attire and had just finished prayer services at the local Mosque at the time of the shooting on the corner of Liberty Avenue and 79th Street.

Video: CAIR-NY President Speaks Out About Shooting of Queens Imam, Associate (MSNBC)

Video: CAIR-NY Director Afaf Nasher Speaks About Slaying of Queens Imam, Associate

“We are pleased with the swift actions of the NYPD, which led to the arrest of the alleged perpetrator of this inhumane act of violence,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of CAIR-NY. “While we are encouraged by the charges filed, we strongly urge law enforcement, prosecutors and the mayor to keep their promise of a thorough investigation, which includes the possibility of a bias motive for the killings.”

If convicted, the charge of murder in the first degree carries the possibility of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

The Washington-based Muslim civil rights group is asking Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  

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