A Muslim doctor was shot and stabbed outside a mosque in Texas as he made his way there for fajr prayers.
Mohammed Imaduddin, a spokesperson for the Madrasah Islamiah Masjid Noor in Houston, told local news agencies the victim was a doctor, who had parked along the street before walking towards the mosque for the morning prayers.
Witnesses said the victim was approached by three masked men on foot before being stabbed. One of the individuals pulled out a gun and shot him, before fleeing the scene.
“It is very scary right now given the current political climate,” Mr Imaduddin told news station ABC 13, adding that there were children outside at the time of the incident.
“From what I hear, this is the third incident this week in the Houston area involving a Muslim getting shot. This is a community place, we have kids that come here, we have people young and old comes here.”
Investigators say the doctor was shot twice, and will remain in ICU for 24 hours, but is expected to survive his injuries.
The victim’s name is Dr Arsalan Tajjamul who is a close student of Dr Yasir Qadhi.
Dr Qadhi posted the following status on his Facebook page earlier today:
“One of my closest students, Dr. Arsalan Tajjamul, was shot multiple times outside of the mosque I pray in when I visit my home town of Houston. Alhamdulillah he is in stable condition but heavily sedated in the ICU.
“Masked men were waiting outside the masjid at Fajr time, and apparently shot the first Muslim that they saw, after which they fled. No robbery or even attempted robbery. This is straight-up pure hatred.
“And this one especially is striking home for me: this is the masjid that is closest to my house that I grew up in, and Arsalan is simply the sweetest, kindest person you’ll ever meet.
“Racist demagogues like Donald Trump are to blame for this. During the last 48 hours, dozens of incidents across America are being reported.
“In my own circle of friends, I’ve heard of three mosques where bullets were fired while the people were praying inside; a burnt Quran thrown and left outside of another mosque; two incidents of young men getting beaten up and bloodied as they were walking to the mosque; and the list goes on. Again, all of these incidents being reported to me from my direct circle of friends – I can only imagine what is happening elsewhere across the country. (And let’s not even get started about the ever-worsening situation in the UK).
“Muslims! Please be extra careful. Times are changing. Monitor your situation wherever you go. Be alert at all times. And most importantly: have a strong connection with your Creator, for He is your ultimate Protector.”