ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Those in the Afghan community remember Naeem Hussain for putting others before himself. “We usually throw some cultural parties and some gatherings. We saw him many times over there; he was a good boy, hardworking boy,” Salim Ansari, the President of the Afghan Society of New Mexico, said.
He moved to Albuquerque from Indonesia six years ago, working as a truck driver to support his family back in Afghanistan. The 25-year-old is the 4th Muslim man to be murdered in the city in recent months.
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He was shot and killed Friday night near Truman and Grand. Many saw him just hours before he was murdered at the burial ceremony for the other two Muslim men killed. “I saw him, he said hi to me, and that night when I heard that shocking news,” Ansari said. “One of the Afghans called me and told me he was shot and died. I couldn’t believe it; I was in shock.”
The community is fearful for their safety, some even fleeing Albuquerque and the state to escape the uncertainty. Right now, there are at least five Afghan families who already left and 20 more in the process. “Some of them even, they quit their jobs, and they want to just stay at home to be safe,” Ansari said.
Although Albuquerque Police have stepped up patrols near Mosques and Muslim-affiliated schools, he believes authorities need to do more. He says there are several other incidents against Muslims that are going unreported. APD says they’re now aware of another shooting in recent months near the Islamic Center.
According to Ansari, the victim was shot at multiple times, but only his car was hit. He was okay. But now, police have not determined if there is any connection to the murders. “I’m really shocked,” Ansari said. “In 22 years, I have been living here for about 22 years, I haven’t experienced something like this.”