CAIR New York Urges Increased Security Measures in Muslim Communities, Calls for Solidarity Against Hate
(New York, NY, 03/15/2019) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today mourned the deaths of more than 40 worshipers gunned down in terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during prayers on Friday, condemned the apparent anti-Muslim an anti-immigrant hate that motivated the attacks and urged Muslim communities to increase security measures.
A man who claimed responsibility for the attacks left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the attack was carried out "by an extremist right-wing violent terrorist” and media reports indicate that the manifesto posted before the attack includes anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The white supremacist author of the manifesto called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
Authorities have detained four people and defused explosive devices following what appeared to be a carefully-planned terror attack.
SEE: Christchurch shootings at two mosques leave 49 dead, Australian arrested in relation to terror attack
40 Killed in New Zealand Mosque Shootings; 4 Held
In a statement, CAIR New York Executive Director Afaf Nasher said:
“We mourn the heartbreaking killings of our brothers and sisters in New Zealand. Mosques and other places of worship are sacred and are meant to be a place of refuge for worshipers. Our leaders at every level must forcefully condemn and work to stem the tide of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that is infecting our nation and world. In the wake of this tragedy, we urge mosques and Muslim communities around the state to take increased security precautions, particularly during times of congregational prayer.”
CAIR New York Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed added:
“These heinous attacks stem from the Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant culture that has invaded our society. We must do more than ‘thoughts and prayers.’ We must unite and strongly condemn anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitism, anti-black and all other forms of hate. And we must take action. Our elected officials must denounce the trafficking of hate ideology and take concrete steps to reverse the increase of hate attacks.”
CAIR New York encouraged New Yorkers to join their local mosques for Friday prayers, Jummah, in a show of solidarity. Call to inform your local mosque beforehand and respect religious spaces by dressing modestly.
CAIR New York also welcomed the NYPD’s decision to provide increased security for Mosques during Friday prayers.
CAIR New York also welcomed Governor Cuomo's directive for State Police to increase security presence around mosques and houses of worship following New Zealand attack.
Video of the attacks has been posted online. CAIR New York is asking that the video not be shared. Please request that social media platforms and other website take the videos down.
“Instead of spreading the hate-filled message of white supremacists killers, we should share messages of love and solidarity with the loved ones of those killed or injured in the attacks,” said Nasher.
CAIR New York is also advising mosques and other religious institutions to review its “Best Practices for Mosque and Community Safety” guide that can be view online at http://www.cair.com/mosque-safety-guide.html
It may also be viewed at: http://www.cair.com/CAIR_Mosque_Safety_Guide.pdf
CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president and has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration policies and appointments.
Community members are also being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR New York 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.