A 43-year-old Muslim man who was ambushed and beaten by two men shouting "ISIS! ISIS!" had reportedly never even heard of the radical fundamentalist pseudo-nation-state.
Mujibur Rahman was walking his 9-year-old niece home from the Bronx's PS 119 at around 5:30 p.m. Friday, when two men wearing ski masks approached them. "They said 'ISIS! ISIS!'" Rahman told the Post. "I never heard of ISIS before this attack."
Rahman's assailants punched his body, head, and face, forcing him to the ground and kicking him before running off. He was taken to Jacobi Hospital, where he was treated and released. Rahman had been wearing traditional South Asian Islamic clothes at the time. "I was dressed like a Muslim," he told the tabloid. "That's why I was attacked. This has never happened before. I hope and wish this doesn't happen in the future to anyone else."
“My niece is shaking and scared to go back to school. She doesn’t know what ISIS is," Rahman added. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident. A police spokesman confirmed that no arrests have been made.
Rahman told ABC Sunday "I believe as a Muslim they hate us, they hate me, and that's why," but stressed that he will not change his style of dress, or where he goes in the city.
Support for Rahman, calls for justice, and demands for a stop to violence have begun to mount. In a statement released Sunday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. asserted "An attack on one of us over race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is an attack on us all." Last month, a store owner in Queens was bloodied by a man who told him "I'm going to kill muslims."
State assemblyman Luis Sepúlveda will lead a rally in support of Rahman at 9 a.m. Tuesday in front of PS 119. "I am appalled by this latest hate crime in the heart of our community,” Sepúlveda said in a statement. "An attack on one member of our community is an attack on us all."