A Muslim doctor was shot near a Mosque in Houston on Sunday morning, according to reports and witnesses.
Dr. Arslan Tajammul was on his way to the Madrasah Islamiah mosque in Houston when he was met by three men on foot, who then shot him, local media outlets reported.
Dr. Yasir Qadhi, prominent Islamic theologian and scholar from Houston, who works for the AlMaghrib Institute, described it as “an apparent hate crime.” Qadhi said Tajammul is one of his “closest students.”
He wrote on Facebook: “No robbery or even attempted robbery. This is straight-up pure hatred. And this one especially is striking home for me: this is the masjid that is closest to my house that I grew up in, and Arsalan is simply the sweetest, kindest person you’ll ever meet.”
Police told KHOU-TV they believe it might have been a robbery attempt, saying there’s no indication suggesting it was a hate crime. They said he was shot in front of an apartment complex near the mosque.
During the exchange, one of the suspects pulled out a gun and shot Tajammul at around 5:30 a.m., witnesses tell ABC13. Tajammul was hit twice, with another bullet striking another member’s car. One of the witnesses included a small boy.
The doctor was able to make it to the front doors of the mosque, where he was able to pass his cell phone to someone to call for emergency help before collapsing.
The three suspects ran off on foot. They have not been identified.
Afterwards, Tajammul was transferred to the hospital for treatment, where he will remain in intensive car for 24 hours. Another acquaintance posted on Facebook that Tajammul is currently undergoing surgery. He is expected to survive.
“My beloved student Dr. Arslan Tajammul … is going through surgery right now,” Mohammed Wasim Khan wrote on Facebook, which was shared by the Madrasah Islamiah Mosque. “He got shot outside our Masjid, Madrasa Islamiah today,” he added.
Khan wrote: “I urge my Houston Muslims and Muslims in America in general to be vigilant and take necessary precautions.”
Others at the mosque told ABC13 that the victim recently got married and lives in the area.
According to his Facebook page, Tajammul is a native of Alberta, Canada, and he had graduated from Nova Southeastern University – College of Optometry.
“Such senselessness is unprecedented,” said Aziz Rahman, another member of the mosque, on Facebook. “He’s a unique gem given to Houston, always organizing and inviting everyone to halaqas [Quran study] and the masjid – now being tested on such auspicious nights.”