(NEW YORK, NY, 7/25/18) - The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today welcomed an arrest for the allegedly Islamophobic hate attack on a Manhattan street vendor Hassane Elbaz.
The attacker reportedly insulted and harassed Elbaz for days before the July 12 attack. The assailant allegedly snuck up behind Elbaz’s cart and attacked and injured both Elbaz and his colleague. The alleged attacker also reportedly shouted “I'm going to f--k you up, terrorist m----------r! Arab, go back to your country!” The suspect fled before the NYPD arrived. After initially declining to label the attack bias-motivated for a week, the NYPD reassigned the case to the Hate Crimes Task Force following CAIR-NY’s call for a hate crime investigation.
SEE: CAIR-NY Condemns Assault on Muslim Street Vendor, Calls for Hate Crime Probe
Manhattan Food Vendor Says Man Beat Him Outside His Cart in an Anti-Muslim Attack
SEE: Photos of Injuries
CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn said in a statement.
“We’re grateful to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for its quick response to our call for a hate crime investigation. There is no place for this sort of hate or violence in our city. How have we become a place in which our neighbors are being stabbed and brutalized in broad daylight because of their faith or national origin? All New Yorkers must stand in solidarity with our Muslim neighbors and show that we’re better than this. Together we must show that New York is still a city in which we all can practice our faith in safety.”
Cahn said his attack shows why it is dangerous for the NYPD to push anti-Muslim measures like Int. 0959 – 2018, which would ban predominantly Muslim vendors from large portions of Lower Manhattan.
“These anti-Muslim measures and the hatred from leaders in Washington is creating a climate of violence on our streets,” said Cahn.
This attack is the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks and incidents of harassment. From 2015-2017, CAIR-NY has recorded a 974 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim acts of discrimination and violence that occurred across the state. Despite the acute uptick in bias incidents, a recent report by the NYC Commission on Human Rights found that up to 71 percent of victims don’t report these incidents to anyone.
Last month, CAIR-NY testified against Int. 0959 – 2018, a city council measure that would evict 22 street vendors from Lower Manhattan. Of the 22 vendors that would be affected, 18 are Muslim. At the same time, a farmer’s market with predominately non-Muslim vendors would be permitted to remain on the World Trade Center site itself.
SEE: CAIR-NY Testimony against Int. 0959 – 2018
Advocates Slam City Proposal Limiting Vendors Near WTC
Community members are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn; firstname.lastname@example.org; 571-766-6273