A Bronx man is demanding justice after he was stabbed leaving his neighborhood mosque.
On Monday, August 19 , the Parkchester cabbie returned to the block where he was viciously attacked, backed by more than 100 members of his Bangladeshi community to protest what they are calling “escalating violence” against them.
Nur Nabi was visibly distraught at Monday’s rally near the corner or Virginia and Ellis Avenues, where he was attacked from behind on Aug. 11.
Neighbors, friends and family, joined by elected officials, waved signs and chanted during the demonstration to demand an end to what they called the “recent spike in violence.”
Nabi, a 55-year-old father of four, said he was leaving the Parkchester Jame Masjid when a man came up behind him and stabbed him twice.
“I am lucky to have my life,” he said. “ I need justice. This can’t happen to any one else.”
Police collared Hector Cuevas, 41, for the crime, but have not labeled the attack a hate crime although Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. noted Nabi had not been robbed.
Cuevas is free on bail and due in Bronx Criminal Court on Sept. 30.
Nabi was treated for his wounds and placed on antibiotics and painkillers.
Community members claim there has been an uptick in crimes targeting the borough’s Bangladeshi community, but no other victims were present at the rally to speak and no other incidents have been reported to police.
Community activist Abdus Shahid, claiming the growing community now totals more than 5,000 residents, called for an increased police presence in the area.
Local electeds, including State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. and City Councilwoman Annabel Palma, vowed to support the community.
“We have to stop this kind of violence here in this area and in the city of New York,” said Diaz Sr. “We are here to support you, we are here to fight with you, we are here to stand with you and to do whatever it is you need us to do.”
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said since he became borough president, his goal has been to be everyone’s borough president— regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation.
“This is a tragedy and it is something that can not, should not and will not be accepted,” Diaz Jr. said. “An attack against Mr. Nabi is an attack against all of us whether we are Muslim or not. The beautiful thing about the borough of the Bronx is how diverse we are.”
Councilwoman Palma said there is no room for hate in their community.
“To have someone go through this, it sets us back so many years,” Palma said.
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394