US: New York Muslim student severely injured in acid attack
By Andy Roesgen
ILLINOIS, US (AA): Police in Long Island, New York are on the hunt for a man who threw acid into the face of Muslim college student last month, as she walked to her home.
A statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) says 21-year-old Nafiah Ikram spent 15 days in the hospital, and was left blinded; her face, chest and arms were severely burned.
Surveillance video from outside her home shows Ikram, a student at Hofstra University, following her mother into the home on Long Island, on the night of March 17. A slim man, appearing to wear a hoodie and wearing gloves, races up behind her from the sidewalk, throws the acid, then races away.
“Ikram immediately felt severe burning pain on her face, neck, and hands and began to scream for help,” according to CAIR-NY. The screaming caused the acid to go into Ikram’s mouth, preventing her from breathing, according to a GoFundMe set up for the student.
Ikram’s parents ran to help her, burning their hands and arms in the process, the GoFundMe said.
Police are offering $100,000 dollars in reward money for information on the case.
CAIR-NY is demanding the attack be investigated as a possible “hate crime”, although police have not yet made that determination.
CAIR-NY Legal Director Ahmed Mohamed said: “CAIR-NY is disturbed and shocked at the brutality of this crime, and law enforcement must do everything to apprehend the suspects. Our community deserves safety. Amidst the rising hate crimes engulfing the state, it is important that this acid attack by an unknown individual be investigated as a possible hate crime.”
Hofstra University, where Ikram is a student, released a statement, saying the school is “shocked by this horrific attack. and our thoughts are with Nafiah, her family and friends as she focuses on her recovery.”
“We are committed to supporting her through that process and will cooperate and facilitate that in whatever ways are helpful,” the statement said.
A GoFundMe campaign has so far raised over $300,000 to help cover Ikram’s medical expenses.
Padma Lakshmi, who hosts “Top Chef” and “Taste The Nation” on the Bravo television network, took to social media to say that she is close with Ikram’s family.
“This is their only daughter; she has her whole life ahead of her,” Lakshmi wrote. “This is the nightmare of any parent for this to happen to your child.”
[Photo: Nafiah Ikram. Photo Courtesy CAIR]
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