muslim

Instead of Pitying American Muslims, Work With Them

Dr. Robbins is the Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – Massachusetts.

In the weeks since the electionthe American Muslim community has seen a massive outpouring of support. As a community advocate, I’ve personally received hundreds of e-mails and calls from people asking how they can help, and letting me know that they’re with us and will do everything that they can to aid us during this time. People across the political, religious and political spectrums have reached out to their Muslim neighbors like never before and have offered to aid us in any way needed.

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Muslim high schooler tracks down homeless man who allegedly struck Jewish woman on Brooklyn subway

A brave Muslim high school student helped cops bust a homeless sicko who randomly slammed his open hand into an Orthodox Jewish woman’s face on a Brooklyn subway train Tuesday night, officials said.

Ahmed Khalifa, 17, of Midwood chased down Rayvon Jones, 31, after he decked the woman, who was simply reading a book on a Coney Island-bound Q train near the Newkirk Ave. station at about 7:50 p.m.

“It was a very hard slap, I almost could feel the slap,” Khalifa told the Daily News. “He was 6-foot-6, and a very big, big guy.”

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NYPD top cop James O’Neill says officers can wear turbans, beards for religious reasons under new rules

For the first time, cops who want to wear turbans for religious reasons on the job can now do so, as long as they get approval, the city’s top cop said.

The new policy also codifies how long beards can be. Beards can be no longer than a half-inch for religious reasons, and no longer than one millimeter for medical reasons.

The NYPD previously barred beards because they interfere with the seal on gas masks. Officers in elite units that call for the masks, such as anti-terrorism, are still exempt from having beards, a police source said.

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Homeless man throws coffee at Muslim woman, calls her 'terrorist' in Manhattan Dunkin’ Donuts

A rampaging homeless man chucked hot coffee at a Muslim woman, hit her and accused her of being a “terrorist” in a Midtown Dunkin Donuts Sunday, according to police sources and the store’s employees.

Nathan Gray, 34, told the 21-year-old victim he “hated Muslims” and that he was going to kill her, cops said Sunday. He’s been charged with assault as a hate crime, cops said.

Gray walked into the W. 35th. St. shop near Seventh Ave. at about 2:45 p.m. and asked for a cup of coffee, said one employee, who wouldn’t provide her name.

“I gave him coffee and he said something to me about terrorists, but I couldn't hear what he was saying. He walked away from me and sat next to a group of Muslim women,” the store employee said. “He started talking to them and I could hear him saying, 'Terrorists!'”

The women sat and ate, trying to ignore him, but he continued shouting, the employee said.

“One woman called him ‘stupid.’ So he threw his hot coffee in her face,” the employee said. “It was hot, hot coffee. She could have been burned! Then he swung his bag at her and it hit her in the face.”

The woman ran outside, and Gray put her in a headlock, cops said.

A 911 call brought police to the scene, and cops arrested Gray.

The victim refused medical attention, cops said. 

NYPD Releases Sketch Of Man Who Attacked Muslim MTA Worker

Police have released a sketch of the man who followed a hijab-wearing Muslim MTA worker off a subway train into Grand Central and pushed her down a flight of stairs on Monday. Officers describe the attacker as 25-35 years old, 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall, and 150-180 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark jacket and a black knit beanie.

Soha Salama, 45, was on the 7 train, headed to work as a station agent at around 6:20 a.m. Monday when police say the man approached, called her a terrorist, and told her "go back to your country." Salama disembarked at Grand Central Terminal and the man followed her, continuing to berate her with Islamophobic remarks, police said. When she reached a set of stairs, he pushed her, causing her to bash her right knee and twist her right ankle, according to the NYPD.

Salama told the New York Post she has lived in New York City for 20 years and never experienced such abuse. "I think this hate is raised after the election," she said, blaming President-elect Donald "There's something going on" Trump for fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment. "He leads people in the wrong direction."

Despite being surrounded by people throughout the ordeal, no one intervened, and Salama had to track down police officers herself, she said. The cops helped her into the station where she works, and summoned paramedics who transported her to NYU Langone Hospital.

Police told the New York Times that there has been a 35 percent increase in reported hate crimes so far this year, compared to the same period last year, and that there have been 43 possible hate crimes since Election Day, double the number reported during the same stretch of 2015.

Because this sort of thing should not be allowed to become routine, here is a photo of a marketed swastika with the message "PRAISE TRUMP" that a tipster sent yesterday, one of several such small graffitos that readers have flagged around the city in the last week or so, since they stopped garnering widespread press coverage. The message was spotted at the corner of 51st Street and Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen.

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.

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.”