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    New York Store Owner Attacked by Man Wanting to ‘Kill Muslims’

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    The frequency of attacks on American Muslims has been on the dramatic rise as US politicians stir up paranoia about terrorist attacks on US soil.

    Sarker Haque, the owner of the Fatima Food Mart in New York's Queens borough, says he was attacked on Saturday by a man shouting that he came to "kill Muslims."

    "He punched me here," Haque told WPIX, motioning toward an ice cream cooler. "I fell down here… I say, ‘What the hell you doing? What's wrong with you?' [The attacker] said, ‘I kill Muslims.'"

    Haque, 53, reportedly suffered several blows before a customer entered the store and stopped the attacker.

    "A person came [by]… He knows me," Haque said. "I'm bleeding [at] this time so he [took] hold of [the attacker]," the store owner said.

    Police identified the attacker as 55-year-old Piro Kolvani. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

    "It doesn't matter what color or nationality you are," Haque said. "We are in America. Everybody came from somewhere."

    Following high-profile and deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and the Southern California community of San Bernardino, the number of assaults on Muslim Americans has skyrocketed. Many believe the anti-Muslim rhetoric of some American politicians, including Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, is to blame.

    In Philadelphia, an investigation has been launched after a severed pig's head was discovered at an area mosque as it opened for Monday morning prayers this week. That incident is also considered to be hate-motivated, as Islamic law bars followers from eating pork. 

    Last month in New York a Muslim 6th grader was attacked by her schoolmates, who beat her up and attempted to tear off her hijab while calling her "ISIS."

    Last weekend, a group of Muslims was harassed and called Satan worshipers while they prayed at a California park. And at a popular Austin, Texas cafe, two women say they were "humiliated" by anti-Muslim hate speech as other customers and cafe staff stood by silently and did nothing to stop it.

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    Tags:
    anti-muslim, hate crimes, islamophobia, attack, Queens, New York, New York
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