An imam was shot and killed outside his mosque in New Jersey’s Newark on Wednesday morning. Hassan Sharif passed away in hospital after being shot outside the Masjid Muhammad mosque in Newark.
The shooting took place just after predawn prayers. Police are searching for the gunman.
Police said the victim was shot one time in the abdomen and the right arm.
“At a time when bias incidents against members of the Muslim community are on the rise, we know that this act of gun violence will heighten fears and concerns in our State,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in a statement.
He added, “Every possible angle will, of course, be explored and every lead will be fully investigated.”
“Police are currently looking for the perpetrator. So far, no evidence has been found indicating a bias motive in the shooting,” Muslim advocacy group, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a social media post.
Following the October 7 attack, hate crimes against Muslims have spiked in Western countries.