NEW YORK – New York City police are searching for the man who fatally shot the leader of a mosque and a friend as they left afternoon prayers.
Police say 55-year-old Imam Maulama Akonjee and 64-year-old Thara Uddin were fatally shot by someone who approached them from behind as they left the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid mosque in Queens shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday.
Police say they haven’t determined a motive, and that there’s no indication the men were targeted because of their faith, but members of the Bangladeshi Muslim community served by the mosque worry it could be a hate crime. More than 100 people attended a rally Saturday night.
Naima Akonjee, the imam’s daughter, says her father didn’t have “any problems with anyone.”