Press Release

Interfaith Coalition of New Jersey Offers Condolences to Victims of the Queens New York Shooting For Immediate Release – August 14, 2016

On behalf of a broad multi-faith coalition of more than 120 organizations throughout New Jersey, we are deeply saddened at the cold blooded assassination yesterday of Imam Maulana Akonjee of the Al Furqan Jame Masjid in Queens New York and his assistant Mr. Thara Uddin who were wearing the traditional Muslim garments.

In this time of loss, we join our Muslim brothers and sisters in offering the traditional Islamic prayer: Inna lillahi Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’un (2:156) “We surely belong to God and to Him we shall return” and remember the biblical assurance that “all people belong to God” whose presence is with those “who lie down with the dead.” (Psalms 24:1 and 139:7)

We offer our heartfelt condolences to members of the Al Furqan Jame Masjid as well as to the immediate families of the victims. We pray that God give them strength and patience to bear this tragic loss. We invite all mosques, churches, synagogues and other faith-based organizations to join us in this statement of solidarity with the AlFuqan Jame Masjid and to remember the victims in their prayer services. Messages of condolence may be sent to Al Furaqan Jame Masjid, 76-18 Glenmore Ave #20, Queens, NY 11417


We urge the NYPD to pursue the perpetrator of this heinous crime and investigate every motive, including hate, and bring the murderer to justice.

The list of organizations supporting this statement will be provided upon request. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of the following contacts.



Prof Raza Mir, Muslims for Peace, 732-754-9759,

Dr. M. Ali Chaudry, Islamic Society of Basking Ridge 908-672-1798

Asghar (Alex) Kharazi, Masjid-e-Ali 732-735-3371

Jimmy Small (Salaam), Muslim League of Voters of NJ 973-580-4798

James Sues, CAIR-NJ 908.267.3119

Mahmood Alam, American Muslims for Democracy 732-874-3705

Salaheddin Mustafa, Islamic Center of Passaic County 973-818-0313

Sameerah Diaab, Muslim League of Voters of NJ 908-531-9141

Prof Raza Mir, Muslims for Peace, 732-754-9759,



Reb Deb Smith, Rabbi Or Ha Lev Jewish Renewal Community, (908) 303-8374

Rabbi Eli Garfinkel, Temple Beth El, 908-616-6995

Alan Respler. Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue of So. NJ, 856-424-4944,

Henry Maurer, Catholic Jewish Commission, 856-667-7285,

David Snyder, Jewish Community Relations Council of So. NJ, 856-673-2524,


Sharon Culley, Somerset Presbyterian Church,

David Jahnke, Fanwood Presbyterian Church,, (908) 889-8891

Patricia Sandrow, Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue of So. NJ, 856-424-6059,

Fr. Joseph Wallace, Catholic Jewish Commission, 609-522-2709,


Interfaith Advocates & Others

Joe Ritacco,, 732-739-5282, the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought, Monmouth County

Farhat Biviji, Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue of So. NJ, 856-428-5867,

Zahida Rahman, Jewish Catholic Muslim Dialogue of So. NJ, 856-784-2738,

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