CAIR-NY Condemns Racially and Religiously Motivated Attack on Sikh Man in the Bronx 


(NEW YORK, NY, 4/18/17) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the attack on a Sikh man in the Bronx as a suspected hate crime.

According to police, Harkirat Singh, a 25-year-old Sikh man and yellow cab driver, was attacked by one of his passengers during a trip from Madison Square Garden to the Bronx. The passengers reportedly called Singh “Ali Baba” (a deragatory term referncing Arab and South Asian individuals), swore at him, refused to pay the cab fare, and attempted to break the cab meter and partition. While fleeing the police, the assailant ripped Singh's turban from his head. The NYPD are investigating the assault as a possible hate crime.
SEE: NYC Sikh Taxi Driver Assaulted, Turban Ripped Off Head  

"As brothers and sisters facing increased racially and religiously motivated attacks, this reprehensible attack against Mr. Singh resonates strongly with our community," said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. "CAIR-NY extends its empathy and support to Mr. Singh and the Sikh community."

“No New Yorker should ever face violence because of his or her faith,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “We are a city united by our diversity. Any attack motivated by religious bigotry is an attack on all New Yorkers and the values we hold dear.”

Recently, several anti-Sikh attacks received national attention. Earlier this year, in Kent Washington, a Sikh man was accosted by another man in his driveway, told to “go back to his country”, and was shot in the arm. Local authorities are looking into the attack as a possible hate crime.
SEE: Sikh Man's Shooting in Washington Investigated As Hate Crime

There has been an unprecedented spike in hate rhetoric and bias-motivated incidents targeting Sikhs, American Muslims and other minorities since the election of President Trump.

Earlier this month, the NYPD noted that there has been a 100 percent increase in hate crimes. CAIR-NY believes that even this figure is a gross underestimation due to under-reporting.
SEE: NYPD Notes a 100 Percent Increase in Hate Crimes

CAIR and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.

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:

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to 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.

EXCLUSIVE: Sikh taxi driver assaulted, turban stolen by drunken passenger in the Bronx

A drunken passenger roughed up a Sikh cabbie and snatched the turban off his head in an assault the NYPD is investigating as a possible hate crime.

Harkirat Singh, 25, said the theft of his religious garb was the culmination of a scary encounter early Sunday with a belligerent boozehound and his three buddies that has made him too scared to drive another night shift.

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: