Published 07:47 IST, January 4th 2024

Imam shot outside New Jersey mosque dies of his injuries, authorities say motive unclear

Imam Hassan Sharif was killed outside his mosque in Newark, New Jersey. The authorities believe it is not a domestic terror-related incident.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
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Imam Hassan Sharif was fatally shot at in New Jersey | Image: Imam Hassan Sharif Facebook

Imam Hassan Sharif, a Muslim cleric shot outside a mosque in Newark, New Jersey, has died of his injuries. The incident occurred on Wednesday in the early hours, at the time of predawn prayers at the place of worship.

The Newark police said Imam Sharif was fatally shot outside his mosque on South Orange Avenue and Camden Street around 6:15 am on Wednesday.


The gunman has not been identified yet and remains at large. The motive of the shooting is also not clear. Authorities believe it is not a case of hate crime or racism motivated by bias or domestic terrorism.

The New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J Platkin said in a press conference, “The evidence collected thus far does not indicate that this was an act motivated by bias or an act of domestic terrorism.”  


Condolences for the Imam on social media

After the shooting, social media was flooded with comments and prayers for the Imam.

Esham Abdul Giles wrote on Facebook in Arabic and English alongside pictures of the Imam, “IMAM  Hassan Sharif Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (Arabic: إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ‎) "Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return" May Allah be pleased. AMEEN.”


A friend named Lashonda Clower wrote on Facebook: “Wow putting RIP in front of your name is so crazy to me! Im going to miss you my dear friend Hassan Sharif. I remember meeting you at Terminal C at the airport doing TSA back in 2017 & we been friends ever since. You was a great man that made sure you put a smile on my face before I started work & always checked on me. I remember saying you walked all the way to my job & you will say I wanted to see my friend i remember when you took me to play pool to teach me because I wasn’t that good LOL you just comment on my uncle passing & I didnt get a chance to say thank you. I will never forget our friendship no matter what!!! Im going to miss you hass the evil doesn’t want great people to do great things!!! I pray you get justice oh yeah I remember you sent this picture to me rest well great soul my condolences to your family.” (sic)

Reports say that people gathered early morning at the Masjid Muhammad to pray for Imam Hassan Sharif’s recovery.


However, he succumbed to his injuries at around 2:20 pm.

The Transportation Security Administration, with whom Sharif worked as a transportation security officer (TSO) at Newark Liberty International Airport since 2006, expressed their condolences in a statement.


“We are deeply saddened to learn of his passing and send our condolences to his family, friends and co-workers,” the TSA said.

07:44 IST, January 4th 2024