Two teenagers were last week arrested in connection with the Jan. 16 attack on Majibur Rahman, a Bangladeshi Muslim who was beaten up by the duo on a Bronx street as they yelled “ISIS”, “ISIS” at him. News Reports said a 14-year-old, and a 15-year-old were arrested Jan. 22 and charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment as a hate crime, The names of the teenagers were not released by police because of their age.
Rahman, 43, who was wearing traditional Muslim attire, was picking up his nine-year-old niece from school on Watson Avenue and Pugsley Avenue, a heavily South Asian neighborhood, around 5:30 p.m. when the two suspects attacked him, WPIX 11 TV reported.
The boys punched him in the head and knocked him onto the ground where they kicked him several times, police sources were quoted as saying by WPIX 11 TV. Rahman’s niece was physically unharmed but was “emotionally traumatized” by the attack, according to N.Y. State Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda.
“I was dressed like a Muslim,” Rahman told the Post. “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,” he said.
Gothamist said in a report that the teens suspected of carrying out the attack were arrested after the younger boy’s mother overheard them bragging about the assault. She turned in her son, who in turn named the older boy.
“The community is happy that the suspects were caught,” said state Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda (D – Bronx).“Now it’s time for healing and praying for these two kids. It’s a sad day in our society when teenagers attack people because of their religious belief,” he said.
Meanwhile, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the FBI to join the hate crime investigation of the attack on Rahman. “The FBI should add its resources to the investigation of this disturbing incident in order to send a clear message to bigots that attacks on American Muslims will not be tolerated and that perpetrators of such attacks will face the full weight of the law,” said CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique, according to a CAIR press release.