A Bangladeshi woman was fatally stabbed on a Queens, New York, sidewalk late Wednesday night, police said, prompting some Muslim groups to ask authorities to investigate the killing as a possible hate crime.
Nazma Khanam, 60, was walking home with her husband around 9:15 p.m. ET in Jamaica, Queens, when she suffered a stab wound to her torso, according to the New York Police Department (NYPD) and published reports. Her husband, who has asthma and was with her, had to slow his pace and was behind Khanam when she was attacked, according to the New York Daily News.
Officers arrived and found Khanam unconscious, police said. She was brought to Jamaica Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
No arrests have been made, and the investigation was ongoing, police said. An NYPD spokeswoman told NBC News the motive was still under investigation.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil liberties and advocacy nonprofit, said Khanam was wearing Islamic attire at the time of the attack.
“Because of the recent killings of Muslims in Queens, and because of the growing number of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide resulting from the increasing Islamophobia in American society, we urge the NYPD to investigate a possible bias motive for this murder,” CAIR-NY executive director Afaf Nasher said in a statement.
The Association of Muslim American Lawyers said it welcomed steps toward a thorough investigation.
“We were heartened to learn that the New York Police Department (NYPD) has immediately sent Hate Crimes detectives to the scene of this heinous crime to carry out an objective investigation in this case,” association board member Iman Boukadoum said in a statement.