Muslim headed for early morning prayers ambushed outside Houston mosque
A doctor headed for morning prayers at a Houston mosque was reportedly ambushed by three masked men who shot and wounded him on Sunday, a day after a Muslim man was beaten outside a Florida mosque.
The victim of the Texas incident, identified as Dr. Arslan Tajammul, an eye specialist, was undergoing surgery and was expected to survive, according to KTRK, an ABC television affiliate.
The doctor had parked his car and was walking to the Madrasah Islamiah mosque when he was ambushed and shot twice at about 5:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT). His three attackers fled on foot, KTRK reported.
The victim was able to toss his cell phone to someone at the entrance to the mosque on Bintliff Drive and DeMoss Drive , in southwest Houston, and ask them to call 911, the TV station said.
Houston police did not immediately respond to a request for information.
The shooting took place a day after a Muslim man was beaten outside a Florida mosque that had been attended by the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub.
The victim in that case was punched in the head and face outside the Fort Pierce Islamic Center just after 4 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Saturday, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said.
Taylor Anthony Mazzanti, 25, was arrested in the attack and was charged with felony battery, the sheriff’s office said.
No racially motivated comments were made to the suspect during the incident, said the sheriff’s office, which added the case is under investigation.
The Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), however, said the attacker uttered racially offensive comments including “You Muslims need to get back to your country” before assaulting the victim.
The Islamic Center’s imam had requested extra security in the wake of last month’s mass shooting by Omar Mateen at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse. Mateen had worshipped at the center.
(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)