NEW YORK: An unknown man threw acid on a Pakistani college student in Long Island, a suburb of New York City, disfiguring her face and shattering her life in an attack that activists want investigated as an anti-Muslim hate crime.
Nafiah Ikram, 21, and her mother were getting out of their car outside their home on March 17 when the man rushed up to her, threw a caustic liquid at her face and ran off. She was left severely burned and nearly blind.
Nafiah, who is studying medicine at Hofstra University, and has plans to be a doctor, was rushed to the hospital by her mother, who also works there.
Her father, Sheikh Ikram, 50, said that Nafiah was targeted on her way home from work.
“No, it’s not a random attack, it’s a planned attack,” The New York Post, a mass-circulation tabloid, quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder asked anyone with information to come forward and call, announcing a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“This attack was a vicious and heinous crime and I am personally requesting anyone with knowledge to come forward,” he said.
The attack left her hospitalized for 15 days, with severe burns to her face, eyes, neck, and hands, according to the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group.