PRESS RELEASE: CAIR-NY Backs Calls for Removal of 'Blackface' Assemblyman from Leadership Position

(NEW YORK, NY, 2/27/13)- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today joined other community leaders in calling for the removal of New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind from his position as assistant majority leader following his appearance at a party in “blackface.”

SEE: Black Leaders Call for Blackface Assemblyman to Resign From Leadership Post

Critics say Hikind, assemblyman for District 48 in Brooklyn, has a history of supporting racist and offensive positions.

In 2001, he launched rhetorical attacks on a mayoral candidate who received the endorsement of a coalition of American Muslim organizations.

In 2007, Hikind was “at the forefront” of the campaign to shut down an Arabic language public school. (Jerusalem Post, 8/15/07)

In 2005 and 2010, Hikind also supported racial profiling bills that would allow law enforcement to use someone's race and ethnicity as reasonable suspicion when looking at Arab, South Asian and Muslim men.

SEE: NY Assemblyman Calls for Ethnic Profiling Bill

"An elected official who believes there is nothing wrong with dressing up as a 'black person' by painting his face, wearing an afro wig and donning a basketball jersey is clearly out of touch with mainstream American values" said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad. "These disturbing stereotypes are the root cause of racist and discriminatory policies that plague our societies to this day."

CAIR-NY is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad, 347-296-7966, E-Mail: