Albuquerqu, NM (KOAT) — A Muslim man says a security guard at the Fairview Memorial Park in Albuquerque stomped on his son’s grave, verbally harassed him, and targeted him for practicing his religion.
On June 25, Muhammed Khan went to the cemetery to visit his son, Tehseen Khan’s grave. Tehseen died on June 15. While Muhammed Khan began to pray, he says a security guard, employed by Mesa Detection Agency, told him he had to leave because the cemetery was closing. Muhammed knew he had about 30 minutes until the cemetery actually closed, so he refused. That’s when Muhammed says the security guard started yelling and almost hitting him. Muhammed believes he was targeted because he’s Muslim.
“He kept telling me to get out. At that point he started getting a little irrational. He then got really, really mad, and started calling me all the names in the book, racial slurs, cursed at my dead mother, cursed at me,” Muhammed says. “It was like a nightmare. I’m already dealing with my son’s death right now, and it’s not easy.”
Muhammed says the guard spit tobacco on his car, then wouldn’t let him leave. Eventually a supervisor came over and let Muhammed go.
“I have a right to practice my religion,” says Muhammed says. “Plus I’m not disturbing anyone over there, everyone is in a deep sleep over there. I mean they are all dead.”
KOAT reached out to both Fairview Memorial Park, but they did not return our calls. We also reached out to Mesa Detection Agency and the president of the company Troy Grimes sent us an email saying “Thank you for your email. At this time we cannot comment on your story.”
Muhammed did get an email from Grimes that said the guard involved will no longer be allowed at the property.
Our partners at the Albuquerque Journal did get a statement from the cemetery, which reads “Our first concern is the safety of the families who come to us to care for their loved ones. We take very seriously the situation that Mr. Khan presented to us. Our relationship with Mesa is contingent upon our assessment of how they address the situation at hand. If we are not satisfied that they have addressed the situation, including the investigation into what happened, then we will address that among our leadership team and pursue that accordingly.”
Muhammed says he now lives in fear of a place that supposed to bring healing.
“Every time I think of my son’s, the day he died, I will think of that incident. It will never go away from me.”
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