A Muslim doctor in the United States was shot and stabbed by unidentified men outside a mosque in Texas, Independent reported on Sunday.
The victim, Dr. Arslan Tajammul, an eye specialist in his 30s, was undergoing surgery and was expected to survive, according to Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Houston branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"It's a real strange occurrence because the mosque is in a poor neighborhood, and they (the attackers) were wearing masks, which could mean all kinds of things," Carroll said.
Spokesperson Madrasah Islamiah Masjid Noor Mohammed Imaduddin said the victim was a doctor by profession who parked his car near the mosque and was walking towards it for the morning prayers when he was attacked.
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Witnesses said the Muslim doctor was assaulted by at least three attackers, who had covered their faces with masks. After stabbing him, one of the assailants pulled out a gun and shot him.
“It is very scary right now given the current political climate,” Imaduddin said, adding there were children outside at the time of the incident.
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“From what I hear, this is the third incident this week in the Houston area involving a Muslim getting shot. This is a community place, we have kids that come here, we have people young and old comes here.”
Houston police officer Muzaffar Siddiqi, a liaison with the city's Muslim community, said investigators had not confirmed the assailants were masked. He urged the public not to jump to conclusions, despite concerns in the Muslim community that the attack was a hate crime.
"We don't know yet," Siddiqi told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that robbery might have been the motive. But he said police were escalating their presence around the mosque in the meantime.
The doctor will remain in Intensive Care Unit for at least 24 hours as he was shot twice; however, doctors say he is expected to survive.