Join us on February 25th in Queens as we discuss these topics in collaboration with the Jamaica Muslim Center!
After the 2015 terror attack in Paris, when Donald Trump and other GOP presidential candidates were ratcheting up their anti-Muslim political speech, we started a running list of Islamophobic acts. Sadly, in less than two months, the list became so long the webpage often wouldn’t load.
This made us recognize the very real surge in anti-Muslim incidents sweeping the nation — a surge many wanted to deny was happening at all. (Think Fox News host Eric Bolling saying he “hadn’t heard of any” anti-Muslim hate crimes.)
So we developed The Islamophobia Project, and committed to tracking anti-Muslim violence, vandalism, discrimination, public policy and political speech throughout 2016.
The MTA will now receive monthly updates on hate crimes reported in its facilities — a response to the citywide uptick in the crimes documented since the election of Donald Trump.
Hate crime stats will be packaged in the police department’s crime briefing, which currently includes data on incidents like murders, rapes and assaults that have occurred in the MTA’s subway and bus networks.
The briefing is presented to the New York City Transit and Bus Committee each month.
The addition comes upon request from MTA Vice Chairman Fernando Ferrer, as well as several board members, on Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner James O’Neill last week announced a 35-percent increase in hate crimes between the election, on Nov. 8, and Dec. 5, throughout the city. During that time there were 43 hate crimes documented. Some involved swastikas scrawled on sidewalks, park property and subway cars.
“If there is a material increase in those incidents, would it not be wise to report them as we do with every other?” Ferrer asked Vincent Coogan, assistant chief with the NYPD Transit Bureau, at Monday’s committee meeting.
Coogan said that his department can add reports on hate crimes to its briefings without much difficulty. The department already compiles the information internally.
“Yes, I’ll have that for you,” Coogan said. “We have a unit that’s dedicated just to investigate those crimes. … We take it very seriously. We always have.”
Board member Andrew Albert welcomed the inclusion of the stats. As did board memeber John Samuelsen, the president of TWU Local 100, the labor union representing MTA employees.
Last week, a Muslim MTA worker wearing her uniform and hajib was called a “terrorist” and pushed down a flight of stairs at Grand Central Terminal.
“There seems to have been an uptick,” said Albert. “And as much as we’re tracking other specific types of crimes, we should be tracking hate crimes.”
(NEW YORK, NY, 9/27/16) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today thanked the NYC Commission on Human Rights and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and Office of Immigrant Affairs for launching “I Am Muslim, I Am NYC,” a social media campaign to promote Muslim visibility and inclusivity in New York City.
“In the wake of recent attacks on the Muslim community, we’re grateful that our allies in City Hall are working to combat islamophobia and embrace Muslim New Yorkers,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “It’s vital that all New Yorkers come to realize that Islam is not something foreign to New York City, but a part of its diverse fabric.”
“As we are seeing an alarming increase in anti-Muslim discrimination and violence, it’s important for all New Yorkers to stand together in solidarity,” said CAIR-Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn. “We commend the Mayor and his administration for continuing to work with Muslim New Yorkers, at a time when many politicians choose to ignore or even vilify this community.”
The Mayor’s campaign comes in the wake of several widely-publicized attacks on Muslim New Yorkers. Earlier this month, CAIR-NY welcomed a hate crime charge for an attack on two Muslim women pushing babies in strollers. The alleged attacker punched and kicked the victims and tried to pull off their Islamic head scarves, or hijabs.
SEE: CAIR-NY: 2 Muslim Women, Babies Attacked in Alleged Hate Crime (CNN)
Last month, CAIR-NY welcomed the announcement of charges of murder in the first degree brought against the alleged killer of a Queens imam (religious leader) and his associate. CAIR-NY similarly urged the NYPD and the district attorney to continue the investigation of a possible hate motive in that case.
SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Charges Against Alleged Killer of Queens Imam and Associate, Urges Hate Crime Probe
CAIR-NY has noted a spike in anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes in recent months, which the civil rights group attributes at least in part to Islamophobic rhetoric used by various public figures.
CAIR is 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.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006, email@example.com; Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273, firstname.lastname@example.org, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com