A Queens man has been indicted on hate crime charges after allegedly wrecking a mosque in the borough while spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Zakaria Kabir, 37, went to the Sunnat-ul-Jamaat of NY Mosque in South Richmond Hill just after 9 p.m. on April 29, where he began screaming and battering the building with his fist, according to the indictment. After gaining access inside, Kabir allegedly smashed a television with a chair, tore up several Qurans and overturned furniture during his rampage.
During his outburst, Kabir yelled out “I’ll kill these Muslims” while calling them a terrorist group that needs to “leave the country,” according to the indictment.
The Astoria man was arraigned Thursday morning and faces multiple charges including burglary and criminal mischief as hate crimes in addition to aggravated harassment.
“The defendant in this case is accused of going on a hate-filled, violent rampage,” said acting Queens District Attorny John Ryan in a statement. “Queens is the most diverse county in the United States — a proud distinction where people from all cultures and backgrounds live, work and pray in harmony. This defendant’s alleged actions are wholly unacceptable.”
Damage done just to the torn-up Qurans totaled more than $5,000.
Kabir faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The New York Police Department has reported three anti-Muslim hate crime complaints in the first three months of the year. There were 16 anti-Muslim hate crime complaints in 2018, two more than in the prior year, and down from a high of 29 such crimes in 2016, ProPublica reported.