Following a fresh wave of Islamophobic attacks across the United States over the weekend, two Muslim teenagers, 16 and 17 years old, were beaten bloody outside the Muslim Community Center of Brooklyn in Sunset Park, New York, early Sunday.
The incident took place during the lengthy Ramadan prayers, according to the mosque director Mohamed Bahe. He said the teenagers were suspicious of a vehicle with tinted glass, parked near the side entrance of the mosque.
“We had two volunteers, and they saw a suspicious car parked outside of our entrance,” he told BuzzFeed News. “They looked at the car, trying to figure out who’s inside. They saw a woman and they asked asked if she needed help. Then all of a sudden a guy comes across running from the street and punches him and knocks him down. He was stomping him and kicking him.”
The attacker also yelled, “You f****** terrorist,” as he punched and kicked the first boy. When the other kid tried to come back, the man punched him too. The assailant reportedly fled on foot after people inside the mosque heard the commotion and came outside.
Meanwhile, the police initially claimed they had no record of the incident. Once photos of the brutal attack surfaced, some of which also featured cops and police vehicles, an NYPD spokesperson eventually confirmed the incident.
However, they have described it as a “non-bias incident.”
“These two individuals were standing outside of the vehicle with a woman who I understand was dressed quite provocatively,” the spokesperson said. “They were not in any Muslim attire... The hate crimes unit did interview both victims, who said the suspect didn’t say anything anti-Muslim to them.”
After reviewing the surveillance footage, provided exclusively to BuzzFeed, the mosque officials identified the assailant as a local man. The mosque reportedly asked for more police protection on multiple occasions, but to no avail.
In suspiciously similar incidents, a Muslim doctor was shot and stabbed on Saturday outside his mosque in Houston, Texas, while one man was left bloodied after another attack outside the Forte Piece Islamic Center in Florida.