CAIR-NY Calls for Meeting with ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ Producers Over Islamophobic Episode

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 5/13/19) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today joined CAIR National in calling on producers of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (SVU) to meet with Muslim community leaders following an episode of that long-running program viewed as Islamophobic and racist.

CAIR said the episode, which included a character clearly based on real-life Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN), falsely conflated support for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism, portrayed Muslim men in a negative light and suggested that growing Islamophobia in America is a hoax.

SEE: 'Law and Order: SVU' Episode Called 'Racist' and 'Extremely Offensive' for News-Based Storyline

In a letter to SVU creator and Executive Producer Dick Wolf, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:

“This racist and Islamophobic episode of Law & Order: SVU distorted current events to create a ridiculous plot line that mocks the real hatred being experienced by real American Muslims and other minority communities. We urge you and your staff to meet with leaders of the Muslim community to learn why this episode makes the rising tide of bigotry even worse, and what you can to do mitigate the damage that has already been done."

CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said: “It is incumbent on producers to be responsible and avoid enflaming Islamophobia. As we have seen here in New York, Islamophobes have been emboldened by the rhetoric in our political discourse and all Law and Order SUV did was lend a hand to anti-Muslim bigots as they try to mainstream Islamophobia.”

CAIR recently released a groundbreaking report, called “Hijacked by Hate: American Philanthropy and the Islamophobia Network,” listing the philanthropic foundations, many of them mainstream, that were used by anonymous special interest donors to funnel almost $125 million to anti-Muslim hate groups between 2014 and 2016.

The report’s authors noted that one outcome of the funding and promotion of anti-Muslim hate and conspiracy theories has been the measurable nationwide increase in often-fatal anti-Muslim hate violence, bullying of children and discrimination. The period covered by the report showed a marked increase in anti-Muslim hate violence and discrimination.

New CAIR Report: Anonymous Donors Use Mainstream Philanthropic Groups to Funnel Millions to Anti-Muslim Hate Groups

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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 Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed;; 646-481-2103; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 

6 Rules Of Islamophobia In America

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. 

Read more:

Subway hate crime statistics to be sent to MTA

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.”

CAIR-NY Commends Mayor De Blasio for Social Media Campaign to Counter Islamophobia

(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.

SEE: #IAmMuslimNYC

“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)…/brooklyn-muslim-women-attac…/index.html

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…/13708-cair-ny-welcomes-charges-again…

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,; Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273,, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,