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CAIR-NY, Partners to Rally and Demand Action After NYPD Hate Crimes Unit and Bronx District Attorney's Office Drop Probe of Bias Attack on Black Muslim Woman

NYPD Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari Refuses to Investigate While Admitting “It may have been a hate crime,” citing unwillingness of the Bronx DA's office to prosecute

(NEW YORK, NY, 6/12/19) – On Saturday, June 15, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), along with civil rights activists and community partners, will hold a rally in the Bronx to demand action following a decision by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to drop its investigation of the allegedly bias-motivated beating of a Black Muslim woman, Fatoumata Camara. 

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In a phone call with a CAIR-NY representative, the head of the Hate Crimes Task Force, Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari reportedly admitted that the attack on Ms. Camara “may have been a hate crime,” but that the investigation will not be pursued by his unit because the Bronx District Attorney will not prosecute if the victim cannot identify the attacker.  Molinari is refusing to investigate despite the fact that the Task Force has not interviewed Ms. Camara and that there are surveillance videos, photographs and a witness that could identify the attackers. 

CAIR-NY is the victim’s legal representative.  CAIR-NY contacted the Bronx District Attorney asking if it had spoken with the Hate Crimes Task Force.  The Bronx DA did not respond. 

WHATRally to Demand Action & Seek #JusticeforFatou 
WHERE
: Rev. Lena Irons Unity Park, E. 168th Street, The Bronx, NY 10456
WHEN: Saturday, June 15, 12:30 – 3 p.m.
CONTACT:  CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed, ahmedmohamed@cair.com; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, anasher@cair.com; 917-669-4006

SEE: Muslim Woman Investigated Her Own Hate Crime After NYPD Dismissed Her Case

Video: CAIR-NY Represents Muslim Woman Beaten by Group of Teens Hurling Religious, Racial Insults
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QTlNwXMyFA

CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed stated:

“Ms. Camara has suffered twice -- once by the hate crime, and again, by the NYPD's continued refusal to adequately investigate the brutal attack and the Bronx District Attorney's apparent disinterest in prosecuting the matter. The trauma suffered by Ms. Camara is tremendous. A victim's inability to identify her attackers while under the shock of trauma is not a reason for the Hate Crimes Task Force and the Bronx District Attorney's office to reject a hate crimes probe. Ms. Camara, herself, delivered video surveillance evidence of the perpetrators identities from the moment of the attack. This unwillingness to move forward is a shameful demonstration of why community trust in law enforcement is so low. It begs the question, if Ms. Camara was anyone other than an immigrant, black, Muslim woman, would a more thorough investigation be delivered?”

Last week, CAIR-NY joined the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Action Network, The Bronx Borough President’s African Advisory Council, African Immigrant’s Commission, the Young African Network, and the Guinean Community of North America (GUICA) at a Day of Visibility (DOV) to bring awareness to the incident.

The Washington-based civil rights organization said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president

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.

Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, 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.

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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.”

Read more:

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.

Read more:

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.

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.