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New jersey Imam (Prayer Leader) Hassan Sharif shot dead outside the mosque

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: Authorities in Newark reported that the imam (prayer leader) of a mosque was tragically shot and killed at South Orange Avenue. Identified as Hassan Sharif, he was initially rushed to the hospital in critical condition but succumbed to the injuries later.

Upon arrival at the scene, officials discovered Sharif lying in the parking area, merely 10 feet from the mosque entrance. An ongoing investigation aims to uncover the motive behind this tragic shooting.

Media reports, supported by New Jersey’s spokesperson, confirmed the fatal incident involving the Imam of Masjid Muhammad-Newark.

Despite initial concerns, the state’s Attorney General, Matthew Plotkin, mentioned that bias did not seem to be a motivating factor in the shooting.

Plotkin stated, “Though the investigation is ongoing, current information doesn’t suggest bias as the cause for this crime.” Emphasizing a thorough inquiry, he added, “Every possible lead will be diligently pursued to ensure justice for the perpetrator or perpetrators.”

Governor Phil Murphy encouraged the public to step forward with any relevant information about the shooter. He reassured the Muslim community and all faiths of the government’s commitment to ensuring safety, particularly in and around places of worship.

A statement from the non-profit organization CAIR-NJ highlighted Sharif’s influential leadership within the community. Expressing shock over the incident during Fajr prayers at Masjid Muhammad in Newark, the statement emphasized their lack of information about the shooter’s motive.

The statement conveyed, “Imam Hassan Sharif holds a crucial leadership role in the community, and our thoughts are with him for a swift recovery. We request others to extend their prayers as well.”

Considering recent incidents, it urged mosques to remain open but vigilant against the backdrop of increased anti-Muslim sentiments.

Local media also highlighted that the deceased Imam had been employed as a Transportation Security Officer at Newark Liberty International Airport since 2006.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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