Police are searching for a suspect who assaulted and stabbed a man outside a Queens mosque while yelling anti-Muslim statements.
Bashir Ahmad told NBC 4 New York he was opening the door to the Masjid Al-Saaliheen mosque in Kew Gardens Hills Sunday morning, when a man he'd never seen before came up from behind him, bit his nose, threatened to kill him, and yelled anti-Muslim comments before stabbing and slashing him with a knife 12 times.
"It was crazy," said 57-year-old Ahmad, an Afghan immigrant who operates a food cart in Manhattan, and issues the daily morning call to prayer at the mosque.
After the attack, Ahmad stumbled to a nearby car service company for help. He was then treated at a hospital and released.
Bervaiz Sheik, the owner of the car service, said he thought the attacker targeted Ahmad solely because he was Muslim.
"We are scared," Sheik said. "It could happen at any time."
Police released a sketch of the attacker who is described as being between 35 and 45 years old, 6 feet tall, approximately 180 pounds, with blue eyes. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, a black jacket and blue jeans, and was possibly wearing glasses.
Meanwhile, Ahmad, who said he never misses work, is recovering at home, unable to return to his food cart for at least a week, he said.