islam

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.

Saluted in uniform, harassed as a civilian: life as the NYPD's Muslim chaplain

One morning, Khalid Latif was asleep in his bed when he was awakened by two FBI agents. Latif remembers the agents telling him, “You’re just too good to be true, and we want you to know we’re watching you.”

At the time, Latif was an honored member of the NYPD and traveled around the world for the US State Department. He had met with President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and the Dalai Lama. Yet every time he went through an airport, he was searched, questioned, and detained. When Latif asked the TSA agents why, they said, “you’re young, you’re male, and you’re Muslim, and those things don’t go so well together right now.”

For Khalid Latif, this has been his reality in a post-9/11 world.

In his role as Imam at New York University, he currently devotes his life to combat Islamophobia and to create a safe, open, nonjudgmental environment for Muslim students and local community members to come together, worship, and feel that they have a support system.

“The deeply entrenched racism in our country has to be addressed,” says Latif. “And it has to be addressed not for any single minority population, but for the sake of all of us as human beings.”

The above video is another installment of The Secret Life of Muslims, from director Joshua Seftel. The films were created with support from the Ford Foundation, the Doris DukeFoundation for Islamic Art, the New York Community Trust, and Pillars Fund. We'll be releasing more over the coming weeks.

Why the 'Birchbox for Muslim Women' Is Sending Customers Pepper Spray

 

It’s not your typical beauty product.

Sign of the times: A new beauty subscription service is sending subscribers self-defense tools.

In the days following the stunning election of Donald Trump, some Americans are celebrating, some are mourning—and some are fearing for their safety. Over the past two weeks, attacks on minorities and immigrants have spiked. Among the targeted groups: Muslim women, some of whom now say they are afraid to wear their hijabs in public.

Muslim women’s content site MuslimGirl is offering a “post-election care package,” which, in addition to products you’d find in typical care package, includes Crisis Safety Manual for Muslim Women, a guide published by the site, and a pepper spray keychain for safety.

The Crisis Safety Manual is filled with practical advice like: “If you wear a hijab, try the hood or beanie-on-top option to attract less attention.” The guide doesn’t shy away from subjects like stereotyping and racial profiling, and warns readers to be cautious particularly if they are “black or dark-skinned.”

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder and editor-in-chief of MuslimGirl, says the manual was originally written in response to Trump’s comments nearly a year ago, in which the now president-elect called for a Muslim immigration ban. Hate crimes against Muslims spiked then, just as they are now, she notes.

“It’s really sad that we have to talk about [safety], but it’s really the level of insecurity that Muslim woman are feeling right now,” says Al-Khatahtbeh. “A lot of social interactions are: ‘Are you staying safe?’ ‘Are you feeling okay?’ That’s where we are right now and it sucks.”

The care package is the first in MuslimGirl’s #MuslimGirlArmy Care Package, a monthly subscription box service that caters specifically to Muslim women. Each $20 box will include a scarf—for use as a hijab or as an accessory—as well as an assortment of halal cosmetics and other beauty products.

“We’re marketing this as a care package because we believe that Muslim women need extra care right now,” Al-Khatahtbeh says.

Muslim woman attacked for wearing 'disgusting' hijab on Manhattan bus

Muslim woman attacked for wearing 'disgusting' hijab on Manhattan bus

“They started yelling at me and telling me to take off the disgusting piece of cloth on my head, saying it wasn’t allowed anymore,”Nizam wrote on Facebook. “I was crying incessantly, looking away, but they did not stop.”