Worshiper attacked while leaving Dallas-area mosque

Police in Texas investigating whether beating of man outside mosque was a hate crime

Police stepped up security near a Dallas-area mosque Tuesday because a worshiper was attacked in the parking lot after evening prayers.

The man, 59, was assaulted about 10:15 p.m. Monday behind the Islamic Assn. of North Texas, according to the Richardson Police Department. 

Police said two men pulled the man to the ground and beat him, fleeing when other members of the mosque scared them off. The victim had minor injuries, including a cut over one eye. 

The attackers didn't say anything and did not steal from him, authorities said. 

The victim told police he was probably targeted "for reasons other than his religion or ethnicity," officials said.  

The incident came one day after two gunmen were killed as they tried to attack a controversial contest for cartoons featuring the Muslim prophet Muhammad. A security guard was wounded in the Garland, Texas, attack. 

“The timing is suspicious so soon after the Garland incident,” said Khalid Hamideh, spokesman for the mosque. “As of right now, the police have not drawn a link.”

The victim and his family are longtime members of the mosque, Hamideh said.  

“It’s just unfortunate because it heightened the fear factor in the community,” Hamideh said.

Police have asked members of the mosque to report any suspicious activity. 

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