brooklyn

Islamophobic graffiti scrawled in subway station near Kensington

Hate has gone underground.

A vandal scrawled “F--- Allah” on a bench inside the Fort Hamilton Parkway F and G station on the border between Windsor Terrace and Kensington sometime before Monday, shocking local leaders who say it is the first Islamophobic graffiti they’d seen in the area in more than a year and that they blame Donald Trump’s victory for emboldening bigots to once again blight the area with their hate.

“We didn’t have any problems and now with the election a lot of people are taking advantage,” said Mamnunul Haq, a leader in the area’s large Bangladeshi Muslim community and member of Community Board 12. “It was gone for a while, but for this to happen today is really shocking.”

Louts attacked Kensington with both anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic graffiti for several years beginning in 2013, according to Haq — especially along Ocean Parkway, where mailboxes and storefronts could frequently be found debased with swastikas and messages defaming Allah.

But local politicians and officers of the 66th Precinct made a concerted effort to stamp out the rash of racist vandalism, and Haq said he hadn’t heard of any offensive scribbles since 2015 — until Monday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was not aware of the vandalism until contacted by the paper, and the agency dispatched a cleanup crew in response, according to an agency spokesman.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Kensington) says he has contacted police to investigate the subway vandalism and vowed to hold a community gathering to discuss the issue.

It is just the latest in a series of hate-filled outbursts in Brooklyn since the election of Trump — who during his campaign said that he would ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. and make all practitioners of Islam register with a national database — he noted.

“Unfortunat­ely, we’ve seen a welling up of hatred and Islamophobia in the weeks since the Trump election,” he said. “What you have to do is get it very quickly investigated, painted over, and see that the community comes out together against hate in support of our Muslim neighbors.”

Amongst other incidents, someone drew swastikas and “Go Trump!” in a Brooklyn Heights playground, another wrote “Trump!” on the door of the Muslim prayer room at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering Downtown, and a Trump supporter punched a woman in the face after a political argument in a Boerum Hill bistro.

A spokesman at the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information’s office said it did not have a report on the incident as of Monday afternoon.

NYPD arrests man accused of harassing Muslim police officer

NEW YORK -- The New York Police Department has arrested a man they say harassed and threatened an off-duty Muslim police officer because of her faith.

The NYPD said Monday that 36-year-old Christopher Nelson has been arrested on charges of menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.

Authorities say the officer, who was wearing a Muslim head covering, encountered a man yelling while pushing her 16-year-old son on Saturday evening in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.  When the off-duty, unarmed officer tried to intervene, police said the suspect said to her, “ISIS [expletive], I will cut your throat, go back to your country,” reports CBS New York.

City officials hailed Officer Aml Elsokary as a hero in 2014, after she ran into a burning building to save a baby.

“I was sick to my stomach when I heard that one of our officers was subjected to threats and taunting simply because of her faith,” New York City mayor Bill DeBlasio said at Monday. “We can’t allow this.”

There was no immediate information on an attorney who could comment on the defendant’s behalf.

It was the second such incident in New York City in one week -- on Thursday, a young woman wearing a Muslim head covering was harassed while riding the subway. Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.