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Man charged with series of Islamophobic attacks in New York

27th Aug 2021
Man charged with series of Islamophobic attacks in New York

(Credit: CCTV NYPD Crime Stoppers)

Nadine Osman

A 30-year-old man was charged on July 28 with hate crimes after prosecutors say he attacked Muslims and tried to forcibly remove a woman’s hijab.

Naved Durrni, of Jamaica, Queens, is accused of a series of hate crimes over about five weeks, during which he allegedly followed Muslims in Queens before shouting anti-Muslim slurs and beating them.

In a statement, the Queens District Attorney’s Office said, ‘According to the charges, on June 20, 2021, around 9:15 pm, the defendant encountered a man and woman walking in the vicinity of Liberty Avenue and Lefferts Boulevard. Without provocation, Durrni followed the pair and yelled out anti-Muslim slurs, saying in sum and substance, “Mohammad was a liar.”

‘At one point, the defendant allegedly pulled on the 24-year-old woman’s hijab, telling her to take it off. When she did not comply, Durrni allegedly struck her in the arm and hit the 31-year-old man in the back.’

An hour after the first attack, Durrni allegedly followed a 64-year-old man and a 56-year-old woman and used anti-Muslim slurs before punching the woman in the face and head several times. The woman suffered a fractured nose and cuts to her head and face and was treated at a local hospital. On July 25, prosecutors say Durrni hurled anti-Muslim slurs at a woman ‘wearing traditional Muslim clothing.’

‘The defendant yelled, “Mohammad was a liar” and “Jesus tells the truth.” When the victim attempted to call the police on her cell phone, Durrni allegedly pulled out a knife, pointed it at the woman in a threatening manner before fleeing the area.’

Durrni faces charges of assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. He faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.

“As alleged, the defendant attacked and intimidated individuals because of their beliefs. That type of hate will not be tolerated in Queens County, where our diversity is our greatest strength,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in the statement.

Durrni turned himself in on July 27 after seeing images of himself on the news.

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