NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Muslim man in Flushing, Queens survived a brutal stabbing right in front of his own mosque.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, the victim told CBS 2 in an exclusive interview that the motive was pure hate.READ MORE: Man Slashed In Head Inside Times Square Subway Station
The attack happened just before 5 a.m. Sunday at the Masjid al-Saalihdeen, located in a strip mall at 72-55 Kissena Blvd. in Queens.
1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reports
On Sunday night, staples and stitches covered the body of the 57-year-old man, devout Muslim whose family requested CBS 2 use only his first name, Bashir, and not show his face.
“He hit me, hit me, hit me, hit me. For like six or seven — I don’t know how many,” Bashir said.
Stab wounds were all over Bashir’s back, atop his head, along his side, and on a leg and finger.
He said the man who stabbed him repeatedly, was also repeatedly cursing and shouting messages of hate.
He said the man told him: “(Expletive) Muslim. I will kill Muslim.”
The bloody attack happened as Bashir arrived to open the mosque for prayers.
The victim said it happened while he was at the front door. He had the key in the lock, but it was giving him trouble and was sticking.READ MORE: Caught On Camera: Innocent Children Caught In Middle Of Brazen Shooting In The Bronx
So as he focused on fixing the key, the assailant came up from behind.
The suspect, whom Bashir describes as dark haired, with a medium complexion and in his 40s, ran away after Bashir fought back.
At one point, Bashir held down his attacker’s arms and the suspect bit him.
“The knife hand, I take the hand. He takes a (bite) like that, takes my nose in his mouth,” Bashir said.
As police investigated what they have called a likely hate crime, they did not release a suspect sketch and continued checking nearby businesses for surveillance video.
Regulars at the mosque said Bashir is gentle and popular.
“He wakes up in the morning, he walks to the mosque, he opens the key and all of a sudden, this is what he gets,” said Flushing resident Wally Werdek.
“He’s very peaceful, very humble guy,” said Flushing resident Asim Husain.”I hope they catch the guy before someone else gets hurt.”
Bashir said he will continue to lead morning prayers on weekends, vowing the violence will not harm his faith or keep him from this place he loves.MORE NEWS: 'I Hope This Is The Beginning Of Something': Hundreds Flock To Harlem For Juneteenth Block Party
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