BY YVETTE BROWN
Police are investigating a hate crime in Astoria after a Muslim man was brutally beaten in his own store on Saturday.
Sarker Haque, 53, was attacked in his shop, Fatima Food on 21st Avenue. According to published reports, Haque was punched in the face, the back of the neck and had his prior dislocated arm inflamed. Haque told PIX 11 News that his attacker, identified by police as Piro Kolvani, said “I kill Muslims.”
A customer, who was in the store at the time of the incident, intervened and held Kolvani down until the police came.
“This targeted assault is unconscionable. This crime is the antithesis of what Astoria is all about. The strength of our community lies in our diversity. This small business owner is part of the fabric of our community and we all condemn this hate crime,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria).
If this incident is labeled a hate crime, it will be one of a number against Muslims as of late in the U.S. On Sunday, an unidentified person threw a pig’s head at a Philadelphia mosque, which is considered to be a blatant attack against the Muslims, who believe that pork is unfit for proper consumption. And last month, at PS 89 in the Bronx, an incident occurred where sixth graders tried to remove a girl’s head covering while insisting she was in ISIS. Authorities are still monitoring the school.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.