Muslim advocates are calling for the New York City Police Department to investigate the stabbing death of a 60-year-old woman in Queens on Wednesday night as a hate crime.
Nazma Khanam, the aunt of a Muslim transit officer with the NYPD, was found outside her home at 9:15 p.m. with a stab wound to her torso. Khanam, who was from Bangladesh, was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital soon afterward.
The Muslim community in New York has been on edge since an imam and his assistant were fatally shot on the sidewalk in Queens three weeks ago while walking home from afternoon prayer services at their mosque.
Afaf Nasher, executive director for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, cited the recent killings and a “growing number of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide resulting from increasing Islamophobia in American society” as a reason for police to “investigate a possible bias motive” for Khanam’s killing.
Detective Ahmed Nasser, a spokesman for NYPD, said that a hate crime task force is assisting with the investigation but that the incident is not currently classified as a hate crime.
The NYPD Muslim Officers Society announced Khanam’s death late Wednesday on Twitter. “Very sad to announce death of the aunt of our member PO Kabir,” the tweet said. “Let’s catch the perp.”