The Board of Directors of the Islamic Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina in New York condemned the brutal, unprovoked attack on Imam Idriza ef. Budimlić, which happened in the early hours of the morning, after morning prayers, on September 8, reports Anadolu.
The unidentified assailant brutally attacked Imam Budimlić and knocked him to the ground with a strong punch to the face, causing bleeding from the nose, swelling on the face, vision problems and multiple cracks in the bones of the face and nose. The attacker fled the scene, and the New York Police Department (NYPD) is still searching for him.
“As a community, we stand by our imam with wholehearted support for him and his family. Imam Idriz has always been and will be a beacon of spirituality for the multi-cultural community of Muslims both in our congregation and in the city of New York. We all pray together and pray with for him and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery,” it was announced.
They state with regret that this incident could have been prevented by the intervention of the police.
“The night before, the attacker forcibly entered the masjid, which was closed at the time, while our cleaner was there, around 10 p.m. Her husband, who happened to be there, and she were afraid for their safety, so they contacted a former member committee who immediately called 911 and reported the incident. Unfortunately, the police never responded to this call. Meanwhile, the assailant kept asking and insisting to see ‘the boss,’ alluding to our imam, and demanding that they call him. However, after when he heard that the police might be on the way, he left the premises of the mosque. Unfortunately, he returned to the masjid some seven hours later, during the morning prayer,” stated the Board of Directors of the Islamic Center of Bosnia and Herzegovina in New York.
Although in the past they have had a very good relationship with the NYPD and their unit and relations with the local communities, they find it disturbing that they did not send a patrol after their call, to investigate and possibly prevent the incident.
“We have to feel safe in our places of worship, knowing that the police will respond when they are called. After this unfortunate incident, many parents who enrolled their children in our weekend school are already hesitant about sending their children to classes that have just started. Our only wish is for better cooperation and faster response of police officers, more frequent patrols to and around the mosque and for the criminal responsible for this brutal attack to be brought to justice as soon as possible,” they added.
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