July 15, 2024

CHICAGO: New Jersey prosecutor Legal professional Normal Matthew Platkin vowed at a press convention right here to seek out the assailant concerned within the Jan. 3 capturing of Hassan Sharif, 52, the imam of the Masjid Muhammad-Newark mosque.

Platkin and different New Jersey regulation enforcement officers mentioned they don’t imagine, at this stage of the probe, that the killing was motivated by Islamophobia however insisted the investigation into figuring out the killer was transferring ahead.

The shooter was wearing all-black clothes and was seen by witnesses within the mosque operating from the scene after the assault on Sharif which occurred at round 6:15 within the morning, police mentioned. 

“Imam Sharif is simply the newest casualty within the mindless gun-violence epidemic that plagues our state and our nation. Combatting the gun-violence epidemic is our core precedence in my workplace and regulation enforcement all through the state,” Platkin mentioned at a media briefing Thursday.

“We are going to carry these perpetrators to justice and we are going to accomplish that, there may be nothing we will do to carry Imam Sharif again to his family members and to his neighborhood.”

Up to now, no suspect has been recognized.

Talking in regards to the impression the killing has had on the area’s Muslim neighborhood, Platkin mentioned: “That wound, tragically, won’t ever totally heal. And due to that we should collectively redouble our efforts to finish this mindless gun-violence epidemic and do the whole lot we will to spare future households the ache that Imam Sharif’s family members are enduring proper now.”

Platkin mentioned the probe “stays an lively prison investigation” however doesn’t point out any type of non secular or racial bias. That might change because the investigation progresses.

Different sources together with Democracy Now! reported that Sharif was assaulted final August.

Platkin acknowledged seeing a “rise in violence notably towards the Muslim neighborhood.”

The congregation of Masjid Muhammad-Newark is predominantly African American and positioned in an African-American neighborhood. Sharif’s homicide is the second violent assault on an imam in New Jersey lately.

Imam Sayed Elnakib, 65, the imam on the Omar Mosque in Paterson, about 15 miles north of Newark, was stabbed in his again in April 2023 whereas main prayers. After the assault, congregants restrained the knife-wielding assailant, recognized as Serif Zorba, 32, till police arrived. Zorba has been charged with tried homicide.

The Council on American Islamic Relations of New Jersey introduced a $10,000 reward for data resulting in the arrest of the assailant. Crime Stoppers USA, a nationwide group, has supplied a $25,000 reward.

Sharif’s killing drew condolences from throughout the nation.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles mentioned: “MPAC sends its prayers to the Newark Muslim neighborhood following Wednesday’s tragic capturing that claimed the lifetime of Masjid Muhammad Imam Hassan Sharif. Imam Sharif served selflessly, working to construct bridges of understanding between religion communities.”

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who has been criticized for her alleged lack of empathy towards the killing of Muslims and Palestinians within the Gaza Strip, issued an announcement expressing condolences to Sharif’s household and concern in regards to the rise in gun violence in America.

“The deadly capturing of Imam Hassan Sharif is devastating. My coronary heart is with the Muslim neighborhood in New Jersey — which is already dealing with an alarming rise in Islamophobia — his family members and all who had been impressed by his management,” Duckworth mentioned on X.

Platkin, the lawyer normal, had earlier joined New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in saying the state’s first-ever Muslim-American Heritage Month.