May 16, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
An Astoria man could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of damaging a South Richmond Hill Mosque while going on an anti-Muslim tirade, the Queens District Attorney’s office announced.
Zakaria Kabir, 37, of 30th Road, was arraigned earlier today on six charges related to the crime.
According to the charges, Kabir allegedly went to the Sunnat-ul-Jamaat of NY Inc. Mosque, located at 112-3 101st Ave., on April 29, shortly after 9 p.m. He allegedly began screaming and battering the outside of the building with his fist.
Kabir then entered the mosque where he is alleged to have began his property destruction rampage. He allegedly smashed a TV with a chair, ripped up several Qurans, and overturned furniture. During his rage, Kabir allegedly yelled out “These people are a terrorist group. They need to leave the country,” and “I’ll Kill These Muslims.”
The mosque was left in disarray, with damage to the Qurans alone estimated to be $5,000.
“The defendant in this case is accused of going on a hate-filled, violent rampage,” said Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “Queens is the most diverse county in the United States – a proud distinction where people from all cultures and backgrounds live, work and pray in harmony. This defendant’s alleged actions are wholly unacceptable and he will be held accountable.”
Kabir has been charged with third-degree burglary as a hate crime, third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, third-degree criminal mischief, first-degree aggravated harassment, and disruption or disturbance of a religious service, funeral, burial or memorial service.
Kabir will return to court on June 11, and faces between three and 15 years in prison if convicted.