A Connecticut Lawmaker Allegedly Assaulted Outside Eid al Adha Prayer Gathering
A Connecticut lawmaker was allegedly assaulted outside of an Eid al Adha prayer gathering in Hartford, Connecticut, on Wednesday night, alongside members of her family, according to police.
Democratic state Rep. Maryam Khan, who is Muslim, was approached by a man identified as 30-year-old Andrey Desmond, who allegedly made obscene remarks to Khan, her sister, a female friend, and Khan’s three children, the lawmaker told the Connecticut Council on American-Islamic Relations. The man also grabbed, hit, and threw Khan to the ground in the attack, before another worshiper intervened.
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Khan suffered minor injuries in the assault, medical professionals who assessed her at the scene said. Police arrested Desmond in connection with the assault, officials told NBC Connecticut.
“I am shocked and disgusted by this news. Rep. Khan is a friend, and I had lunch with her just yesterday. She is a brilliant school teacher and legislator and represents the very best of Connecticut,” Democratic State Sen. Matt Lesser tweeted.
The Connecticut chapter of CAIR stated that the attack occurred after the Eid al Adha gathering. The typically peaceful holiday is celebrated with prayers, small gifts for children, distribution of meat to the needy, and social gatherings.
“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this attack and to ensure the safety of the Connecticut Muslim community during the ongoing Eid al-Adha celebrations,” CAIR-Connecticut Chairman Farhan Memon said in a statement. “All too often we have seen American Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim, targeted by hate because of their attire, race or ethnicity.”
Desmond will face charges including third-degree assault, unlawful restraint, breach of peace, and interfering with police, the Hartford Police Department said.
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