The Association of Pakistani Physicians in North America (APPNA) has confirmed in a statement that the Illinois-based nonprofit organization is looking at all angles to determine cause of an apparent hate-inspired murder of Dr Talat Jahan Khan – 52 – a Pakistani-American pediatrician – in Texas – a state in the South Central region of the United States.
Local police confirmed that Dr Talat Jahan was stabbed to death in Alys Apartments in Conroe, Texas. The assailant, 24-year-old young man, fled the scene after the attack, but was later arrested. Dr Arshad Rehan – president of the association – said that the Pakistani community was shocked at this horrible murder.
“It seems Muslims, especially Pakistanis, are potential victims if reason of murder is not clear,” said Dr Rao Kamran Ali, the association member from Texas. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in Texas that it was closely monitoring the case, and remains vigilant to any potential indications of a hate crime.
The circumstances behind this murder should be transparently investigated and disclosed to the public. But I would not be surprised if like the incident in Illinois it had to do with the present political environment. There is an atmosphere of relentless incitement. https://t.co/08HWiFoscd
— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) October 30, 2023
In a statement, the Texas-based advocacy group stated that the police had not yet released reason for the killing, but they want to assure everyone that they were in conversation with law enforcement agencies. Due to tragic circumstances, “we are paying very close attention to the investigation,” it said.
The council said it had launched its own investigation and encouraged the community to be vigilant and to keep the family in prayers during this difficult time. Al Ansaar Mosque Associate Director Mohammad Ayubi urged the community to remain calm and wait for the result of the investigations.
Neighbors told local police that Dr Talat Jahan was sitting at a picnic table outside her apartment when the assailant approached her. The neighbors and relatives said they had never seen the attacker before the incident and the victim had no connection with him.
Dr Talat Jahan, who recently relocated from Seattle to Texas and worked with Texas Children’s Pediatrics, is survived by a 14-year-old daughter and a 23-year-old son. The community is still reeling from the shock and had called for increased security measures to prevent such incidents.
“Everything in her life revolved around those two things, her kids — her son and daughter — and her kids she looked after as a pediatrician,” said Wajahat Nyaz, brother of the victim. Mahnoor Mangrio, the victim’s niece, said that her aunt was strong in her faith.
Dr. Talat Jehan Khan was stabbed to death in Conroe, Texas. Emgage is horrified by this act of violence and demands a thorough investigation considering the rising climate of Islamophobia and violence against Muslims. pic.twitter.com/xAoSTuwLeP
— Emgage Action (@EmgageAction) October 30, 2023
“Dr Talat Jehan Khan was stabbed to death in Conroe, Texas. Emgage is horrified by this act of violence and demands a thorough investigation considering the rising climate of Islamophobia and violence against Muslims,” the nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Muslim voters stated in a statement. “We send our condolences to her loved ones and will be following the investigation closely,” it said.
The police said so far there was ‘no evidence’ the crime was motivated by hate. “At this time, we have not found any evidence to link this to a hate crime,” Conroe Police Department Sgt David Dickenson told CNN. The Anti-Defamation League also issued a statement calling for police to investigate as a possible hate crime.
“While the investigation is underway, we strongly call for law enforcement to examine the potential that this murder was motivated by hate,” the league said in a statement. “Hate against one of us, is hate against all of us, and we should not tolerate it ever, anywhere.”
“We are heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of one of our highly respected and beloved physicians, Dr Talat Khan. During this difficult time, we are providing supportive resources to our patients and employees while keeping Dr Khan’s family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers,” the Texas Children’s Pediatrics said in a statement.