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Forest Hills man charged in mosque stabbing: Police

Officers stand outside a Kew Gardens Hills mosque where a man was stabbed multiple times in November, according to the NYPD. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
TimesLedger Newspapers

A Forest Hills man was charged with using anti-Muslim slurs while repeatedly stabbing a man who was unlocking a Kew Gardens Hills mosque for morning prayers last year, the Queens district attorney’s office said Friday.

Bernhard Laufer, 55, faces charges of attempted murder and assault as a hate crime, on top of the standard attempted murder and assault charges, the DA’s office said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said 57-year-old Bashir Ahmad was unlocking the front door to Masjid Al-Saaliheen Mosque, at 72-55 Kissena Boulevard, at about 5 a.m. Nov. 18 when he was stabbed in the back.

When he turned around, Ahmad allegedly saw Laufer standing behind him and put up his arms to protect himself as he was stabbed all over his body, the DA said. Laufer allegedly threatened Ahmad, saying, “ I’ll kill you Muslim ...,” the district attorney’s office said.

“The defendant is accused of having repeatedly stabbed the victim in a hate-crime attack and to have used hateful speech,” Brown said. “Remarkably, the injuries sustained by the victim, though serious, were not fatal.”

Ahmad was taken to the hospital, where he received several stitches and staples for injuries, according to the DA.

Later in month of November 2012, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim leaders from Queens gathered with lawmakers to denounce the possible hate crime.

Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at timesledgerphotos@gmail.com or by phone at 718-260-4589.

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