Muslim civil rights group offers $10K reward for information in murder of imam, assistant

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NEW YORK — The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced Sunday a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the murder of a Queens imam and his assistant.

CAIR, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization will hold a press conference Monday afternoon in Brooklyn before a prayer service for the victims.

“We hope the offer of a reward will lead to the arrest and conviction of the individual who perpetrated this heinous crime,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, who will take part in Monday’s news conference. “Once an arrest is made, we expect that the motive of the shooter can be determined.”

Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his assistant, Thara Uddin, 64, were gunned down in broad daylight Saturday afternoon following services at an Ozone Park mosque.

The victims were wearing religious attire at the time of the shooting.

Surveillance video obtained by PIX11 News shows the gunman running up behind the two men on the corner of Liberty Avenue and 79th Street and gunning down both men. He was then seen dashing away in the opposite direction.

*WARNING* Video may be disturbing to some. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement Sunday about the Ozone Park shooting, deploring the violence the community experienced.

“This weekend our city was stung by violence that devastated a congregation and unsettled a community,” the statement reads. “When religious leaders are targeted, we all bear the pain those in Ozone Park feel most personally today. While we do not yet know the motivation for the murders of Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin, we do know that our Muslim communities are in the perpetual crosshairs of bigotry. It remains critical that we work to bridge the divides that threaten to undermine the greatness of our city and country. Rest assured that our NYPD will bring this killer to justice.”

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