The shooting of an Imam and his assistant near the Ozone Park mosque in Queens, New York over the weekend had many in the city nervous, angry or both. It was a shocking crime committed right out on the public streets which immediately raised fears and suspicions because of the religious and social implications brought up by the identity of the victims. Now, however, in a relatively short period of time, New York’s finest have identified a suspect and brought him in for questioning. (NY Daily News)
The killer who crept up behind an imam and his friend near a Queens mosque and shot both men in the head may have been settling a score in a feud between Muslims and Hispanics, police sources said early Monday.
And he may have left behind another victim who unwittingly held the clue that solved the crime, the sources said.
The suspected killer was taken into custody Sunday night but had not been charged or identified, according to the sources. Police officials would not confirm whether a suspect was nabbed.
Video of the horrific Saturday afternoon murders of mosque leader Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 65, at Liberty Ave. and 79th St. in Ozone Park showed the brazen crime to be a planned execution.
Describing it as a “planned execution” doesn’t seem far off the mark if you watch the video. (I won’t embed it here, but simply warn you in advance that it’s pretty grim if you click on the link.)
Unfortunately, as soon as the news broke I was thinking the same thing I’m sure many of you were. If this turned out to be some whack job associated with the Right wing or conservative movements, the media would be having a field day with it. Even worse if they could somehow link him as a Trump supporter. It would be an incident that the Left would hang their hats on and preach endlessly about how anti-Muslim bias was rampant in America, etc. etc.
But assuming the police have done their jobs thoroughly, this is looking like something very different. It may have indeed been an execution, but it was gang violence between an Hispanic group and local Muslims. Rather than something ideological, a group of Muslims reportedly attacked some Hispanic men in the neighborhood in recent weeks. If so, this was payback in gangland style. Still horrific, but not the type of story which the mainstream media cares to cover for very long because it doesn’t do much to advance the narrative.
We’ll need the cops to provide confirmation and file charges, but let’s hope they have their man and that justice is brought to the perpetrator. That won’t come as much of a comfort to the friends, family and congregation of the dead, I’m sure, but it may at least bring them closure.