In an incident of anti-Muslim hate crime, an anonymous man threw acid on a Pakistani student in Long Island, a suburb of New York City, disfiguring her face and destroying her life.
On March 17, Nafiah Ikram, 21, and her mother were getting out of their car outside their home when a man rushed up to her and hurled a caustic acid in her face before fleeing. She was seriously burnt and almost blinded as a result of the incident.
Nafiah, a Pakistani student at Hofstra University with ambitions to become a doctor, was hurried to the hospital by her mum, who also works there.
Nafiah was attacked on her way home from work, according to her father, Sheikh Ikram, 50.
“No, it’s not a random attack, it’s a planned attack,” The New York Post, a mass-circulation newspaper, cited him as stating,
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder appealed to those with details to contact him, offering a $10,000 incentive for information leading to an indictment.
According to the New York branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights organisation, she was hospitalised for 15 days after the assault, with serious burns to her face, eyes, legs, and hands.
The assault had almost blinded her. She told WCBS, “I can just see colours, but that’s it. I want to know, like, what’s the reason? Like, what could I have possibly done to somebody?”
Nafiah is now beginning to speak again, but she still has trouble eating and drinking because the acid burned her throat, according to her father.
Nafiah is unable to see more than a few feet in front of her, and her family is hoping she can restore her vision.
The outpouring of kindness and encouragement from relatives and acquaintances has astounded the family. To cover treatment expenses, over $300,000 has been collected in contributions.