A November hate crime case has been cracked and a Forest Hills man charged with attempted murder.
Late last year, Bashir Ahmad, a devout Muslim from Afghanistan, was attacked and repeatedly stabbed outside of his local mosque, Masjid Al-Saaliheen in Flushing. Bernhard Laufer was arrested and charged in connection with the incident.
“He hit me six times,” Ahmad said in November.
He said his attacker was yelling, “You’re a Muslim motherf—–, I’ll kill you.”
Ahmad was opening the mosque’s doors for morning prayers, as he had done every day for the past 12 years, when Laufer attacked.
“Crimes fueled by hate will not be tolerated here in Queens County, the most diverse county in the nation,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Ahmad said Laufer came up from behind him and began stabbing him on his shoulder and then on top of his head.
When Ahmad turned around and attempted to restrain him, Laufer bit Ahmad on his nose and stabbed him in his right leg. Ahmad also suffered a laceration just above his right eye and a slash to his right thumb. He tried to defend himself by biting Laufer’s finger.
Ahmad put his arms up to protect himself and Laufer continued to stab him in the body, causing bleeding, lacerations, bruising and swelling to his hands, head, legs and back, said Brown.
The 57-year-old victim said Laufer was not attacking him personally, but the Muslim faith as a whole.
“His problem [is not with me], his problem is [with] Muslims,” he alleged.
Laufer is charged with attempted second-degree murder as a hate crime, second-degree assault as a hate crime, attempted first-degree assault as a hate crime, attempted second-degree murder, second-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault.
If convicted, he faces a minimum of eight years and maximum of 25 years in prison.