Two Deaths in Ozone Park – A Year Later

Shiblu Ahmed (in plaid shirt), the son of Thara Uddin, at the vigil remembering Uddin and Imam Maulama Akonjee. (Photo by Anthony O’Reilly via Queens Chronicle)

A year to the day Imam Maulama Akonjee was shot dead, his son Saif Akonjee spoke at a vigil across the street from where the shooting occurred: “I want to know why he killed my father,” he told reporters, among them Anthony O’Reilly of Queens Chronicle.

O’Reilly writes:

Iqbal Ali said the Sunday vigil was organized to let the community know “this incident was not forgotten.

“We didn’t just lose an imam who led prayer for thousands of people,” said Ali, who helped organize the event. “We lost a father, we lost a husband. We all suffered from this.”

Akonjee moved to Queens from his native Bangledash less than two yeas before he was killed. Many who attend services at the Glenmore Avenue mosque he led are also of Bangledeshi descent.

On Aug. 13, 2016, the imam and his associate, Thara Uddin, were killed in broad daylight on Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park. Oscar Morel, of Brooklyn, has been charged with first-degree murder. Despite a push from the Muslim community, the case is so far not considered a hate crime. The trial begins in the fall.

Hear what others who attended the vigil had to say, in the full story at Queens Chronicle.

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