Islamophobia: Muslim Imam gunned down in New York City

Islamophobia: Muslim Imam gunned down in New York City

WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (APP): A Muslim prayer leader and his friend

were shot dead near a mosque in New York city in an alleged hate crime inspired by Islamophobia.

Maulana Akonjee, a Bangladesh national, and his friend Thara

Uddin were killed minutes after they had offered prayers a block way

in Al-Furqan Jamia Masjid in the Queensland area, according to a local

Daily News.

Dressed in Shalwar Kameez, the two were walking home when the killer approached them from behind and shot them in the head, according to police.

The 55-year-old Akonjee was a respected prayer leader who had arrived

in the United States two years ago. His friend died four hours after the shooting.

Scores of people who had gathered soon after the killing denounced the killing as a hate crime, but police said it was still investigating and it was too early to determine the motive.

The imam was described by local residents as a pious, well-regarded member of the community who had enmity with no one.