Police say Mujibur Rahman, 43, was walking with his 9-year-old niece in the Bronx on Friday when he was “punched several times in the head, knocked down and kicked by two teenagers, according to the news agency Reuters.
The victim was taken to a hospital with bruises on his head and face and later released, according to the New York Daily News.
The girl was not injured, according to the paper.
At the time of the attack, the victim, who is of Bangledeshi heritage, was wearing a shalwar kameez, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations. The shalwar kameez, a pant-and-tunic set, is worn by people across South Asia.
The assault is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, but CAIR is calling on the FBI to join the investigation, according to a statement released Sunday.
“The FBI should add its resources to the investigation of this disturbing incident in order to send a clear message to bigots that attacks on American Muslims will not be tolerated and that perpetrators of such attacks will face the full weight of the law,” said Sadyia Khalique, director of CAIR-NY, according to the statement.
The attack occurs at a time when those who monitor hate groups say they are seeing an increase in the number of reported attacks on Muslims and Sikhs.
Across the country in recent months, Muslim centers of worship have been the targets of hate crimes and vandalism.
• On Dec. 4 in North Palm Beach, Fla., the Islamic Center of Palm Beach had a dozen windows shattered. Joshua Killets, 27, of Juno Beach, Fla., faces a variety of charges in connection with the vandalism, including hate crime.• On Dec. 11 in Coachella, Calif., Carl James Dial, 23, of Palm Desert, Calif., is accused of firebombing the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley mosque. He pleaded not guilty last week, and his next court appearance is on Monday.• On Dec. 12 in Hawthorne, Calif., southwest of Los Angeles, vandals defaced a pair of mosques — the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque and the Islamic Center of Hawthorne. Investigation into those crimes is ongoing.• Also Dec. 12 in Macon, Ga., graffiti that included profanity and the word “terrorist” was spray-painted on the Islamic Center of Macon. No suspects have been arrested.
Experts believe such attacks are occurring because the United States is again grappling with fears of terrorism after recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., which have shaken Western governments and collectively resulted in about 150 deaths.