CAIR-NY Blog

A promise to our Muslim neighbors.

By Albert Fox Cahn, Esq.
CAIR-NY Director of Strategic Litigation

Yesterday, CAIR-NY gave a civil rights training at NYU, when a young woman raised her hand to describe a conversation with Rep. Mike Honda about his childhood in a Japanese internment camp. When she asked the Congressman if Muslim internment camps would be possible today, he said “yes.” Her voice shaking, she asked if we thought it was possible. It floored me, and for a moment I had no idea what to say. Then I looked out the windows behind her, and I saw the protest unfolding in Washington Square. Thousands of New Yorkers, coming together to stand against Donald Trump's unconstitutional campaign promises.

My response was this: “No, that will never happen. The reason isn’t found in the wording of our Constitution or the wisdom of our founders. It won’t happen because the people of this city, this state, and this flawed country will never let it happen. In the wake of Pearl Harbor there were no protests, there was no dissent, there was no solidarity with our Japanese neighbors. Today, there is an army of lawyers and activists primed to fight this presidency every step of the way. Khizir Khan famously asked Donald Trump if he had ever read the Constitution. I promise you, we and other civil libertarians will teach him what it means.”

CAIR-NY will do everything I can to uphold that promise, and I know that there are many others toiling away to do the same. I ask those of you who aren’t in a position to join this work directly, please donate to the groups who will, such as CAIR-NY (http://www.cair-ny.org/donate). Please add your voices to the chorus of Americans who say that our nation and our values are more resilient than any one man, even a President.

Voting For The First Time? CNN Would Like to Interview You Tomorrow

CNN is looking to interview newly naturalized American citizens who will be voting for the first time this year. Questions include what being American means to you? What does voting means to you? Why are you voting? The interview tapping will take place Thursday, October 26, 2016 in their NYC studios. You won’t be asked who you will be voting for or to comment on the election. If you are interested in part, please email us at info@ny.cair.com. 

Thank you!

Our work is not possible without your support. Please consider donating today! 

Volunteer Muslim Clinic Works to Help Latino and Latina Neighbors.

Originally published on huffingtonpost.com
Muhammad Safwatullah
Manager, Al-Shifa health clinic

MUSCOY, Calif. ― When you drive up to the Al-Shifa Free Health Clinic, there will only be a few cars outside. But when you walk in, you’ll see a full waiting room. Why? Because many of our clients literally walk in.

Open since 2000, our clinic is on the outskirts of the city of San Bernardino, in a largely Latino area called Muscoy. Nearly a third of all residents live below the poverty line, and many of them do not have cars or access to other transportation. Without a clinic like ours close by, checkups would not happen and chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease would be left untreated.

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It’s Now or Never! NY Voter Registration Ends Today.

Didn't I already register?

Not sure if you're registered?  Not sure if you're registration is accurate?  Don't take the chance that you'll be left out in the cold on Election Day.  Every year, countless Americans are turned away at the polls because of outdated or inaccurate registrations. It takes less than 2 minutes to check your status at CAIR-NY’s voter registration website.

Elections matter, your vote matters, and never more than this year.  If you want to cast a ballot in November, you must register by today if you live in New York. Registration is quick and easy, so register now.
Your vote is your voice, and if you don't take the time to register today, the Muslim community will be silenced on Election Day.

 

Police: Suspects used anti-Muslim slurs in attack on man

Posted 12:00 PM, October 9, 2016,
by Talia Tirella, Updated at 12:01pm, October 9, 2016
Originally posted on PIX11.com

FORDHAM MANOR, the Bronx — Police are searching for three individuals connected to an assault that occurred in the Bronx in September and involved anti-Muslim slurs.

On Sept. 15 right before midnight, the 25-year-old victim and his mother were walking and crossing the street in front of 2481 Creston Avenue in the Fordham Manor section of the Bronx.

As they crossed the street, a black Toyota Camry with two men inside passed by. One of the men allegedly shouted anti-Muslim slurs at the victim and his mother, police said.

The victim went to confront the passenger and it was then that the driver and the passenger inside the car both allegedly punched the victim in the face, according to police.

The two men then fled in an unknown direction.

Read More →

 

CAIR-NY is hiring!

CAIR-NY is looking for a highly motivated candidate to join our team as the new Operations Coordinator.  The Operations Coordinator is a paid, part-time position, primarily addressing CAIR-NY’s bookkeeping needs. Successful candidates will receive additional responsibilities in the areas of office administration, communications, marketing, and office support.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  Find out more by clicking here.

NY State Senator Seeks Probe of Agency's Mosque Approval

Orriginally Published in Queens Chronicle
Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2016 10:30 am
by Ryan Brady, Associate Editor

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) again has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney of the Southern District Preet Bharara to review the Board of Standards and Appeals for possible improper conduct because its chairwoman appeared at the opening for a mosque that the agency approved . . .

According to Council on American Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper, opposition to mosque construction is often Islamophobic, although opponents of the Flushing mosque proposal have said that they are not against it because of the religion.

“We always hear that the opposition has nothing to do with it being a mosque or a school or a Muslim cemetery until you scratch the surface and you almost always find a level of anti-Muslim bias,” Hooper said.

Read More

Hate Crime Charges Filed over anti-Muslim Graffitti

Originally appeared in IOhud
Matt Spillane , mspillane@lohud.com
9:13 a.m. EDT October 6, 2016

Vincent Casella said too many terrorists are being allowed into the country, police said.

MOUNT VERNON - A city man has been charged with a hate crime for creating anti-Islam graffiti, police said.

Vincent Casella, 61, was arrested on Sept. 30 for defacing a light pole at the corner of Gramatan Avenue and West Grand Street in Fleetwood, Mount Vernon police said.

A police officer and another witness saw Casella use a blue marker to write the phrase "F#@$ ISLAM" on the pole, police said. Police stopped him and arrested him.

Casella told officers that he was unhappy with the way the country was headed, and that too many terrorists were being allowed in, police said.

Build Invaluable Career Skills In a CAIR–NY Internship!

CAIR–NY offers a wide range of internship and volunteer opportunities targeted at developing new professional skills while nurturing existing personal strengths. The Fall 2016 session is here and we are looking for talented applicants to join our team!

Civil Rights, Legal Services, Communications, Outreach, and Development Interns are an integral part of our work fighting bigotry and promoting tolerance. We are proud that our internship program not only allows participants to engage in social change but also provides a unique and rigorous career development experience.

LEARN MORE

Gold Star dad Khizr Khan calls for voters to support American values

Niraj Warikoo,
Detroit Free Press

In interview with Free Press, Khizr Khan praises Dearborn as a model city of pluralism that others should follow

Visiting Dearborn this week to speak to Arab Americans, Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who slammed Donald Trump at the Democratic National Convention, said voters should choose American values when deciding this November.

Khan and his wife, Ghazala Khan —  whose son Capt. Humayun Khan was killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004  — received an award Thursday night from the Arab American Civil Rights League, which held its annual banquet in Dearborn.

A Muslim immigrant from Pakistan, Khan drew national attention for his speech in July at the convention in which he blasted Trump for attacking Muslim Americans and other minorities. Pulling a copy of the U.S. Constitution from his pocket, Khan sought to portray the Republican presidential nominee as someone who didn't understand American laws and values...

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To Be Muslim On Campus

In early September, New York witnessed a series of Islamophobic attacks — mostly against women. In Brooklyn, two Muslim mothers were pushing their children in strollers when they were attacked by a woman telling them to “get the **** out of America ****.” Days later, a man set fire to a Scottish Muslim tourist’s clothes while she was shopping on Fifth Avenue.

For some Muslim students on campus, the fear is, especially for those who are more visibly affiliated with the religion by wearing garments.
“Whenever there was an attack, I’d be afraid that if I go downtown, I may be a victim of a hate crime,” said Muslim student Raaheela Yusuf, FCRH ’20, who wears a hijab, in an interview with The Fordham Ram. “My mother would always tell me to be careful and to be aware of my surroundings.” She remembers a friend who began wearing a hijab in high school, and the extra measures her friend went to keep herself safe. “She has been carrying around pepper spray with her everywhere she goes,” Yusuf said.

Read More →

Khizr Khan, Fallen Soldier’s Father, Serves As Grand Marshal For Muslim Day Parade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Numerous Muslim communities turned out Sunday for the annual Muslim Day Parade and street fair in Midtown.

Sunday’s 31st Annual United American Muslim Day Parade kicked off on Madison Avenue at 38th Street. Scores of revelers, many waving American flags and clutching flowers, marched down the iconic avenue to 24th Street.

The street fair featured spoken word and musical performances, Halal food and drinks and other family-friendly activities. . .

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NYC Mayor's Office launched first ever citywide campaign to halt anti-Muslim violence

By Sarah Harvard
September 26, 2016
For Mic.com

Anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked in 2016 — most notably during the start of the presidential election cycle — and New York City officials hope to combat their rise through a series of public service announcements and educational workshops.

On Monday, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio's Commission on Human Rights launched an expansive social media campaign aimed at stemming these instances of Islamophobia. The campaign consists of five banner ads featuring Muslim New Yorkers. 

The text embedded in the ads reads, "I am Muslim. I am NYC." Cumulatively, they seek to remind New Yorkers that religious-based harassment and discrimination is illegal in the city.

"These bold new ads affirm every Muslim New Yorker's right to live safely and free from discrimination," Carmelyn P. Malalis, chair and commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, said in an email. "They also show that Muslims are hardworking New Yorkers just like you and me. They are our police, our teachers, our small business owners and our neighbors and they deserve the same respect as everyone else." . . .

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Five Surprising Places To Find Islamic History In The United States

By Furqan Shaikh

In the current climate of political rhetoric against Islam and Muslims, it can be hard to remember that the United States has always been a country that has respected and acknowledged the contributions of people, places and ideas from outside its borders. While we often think of its inheritance from Greece or Rome, here is a quick tour of five surprising places where Islamic history, verses, or symbols have been represented and recognized by US institutions.

 

1) Harvard Law School

The tour starts just inside the entrance of the Faculty Library at Harvard Law School, where the Words of Justice exhibit presents 33 quotations representing history's greatest expressions of justice. Displayed prominently at the entrance wall are three quotations, the first by Augustine of Hippo, the second from the Magna Carta, and the third a verse from the Holy Qur'an (Chapter 4, verse 135), which reads: “O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be against rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both.” The passages of the exhibit were chosen by Harvard Law faculty and students for their “testimony to the endurance of humanity's yearning for fairness and dignity through law.”

 

2) The Supreme Court

Move from the renowned school of law to the highest court. Carved in marble inside the Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., directly above the courtroom bench, is a frieze showing eighteen of the greatest leaders in history who played a role in establishing laws. The line-up includes Justinian, Charlemagne, King John, and the Prophet Muhammad.

Although the frieze was carved in 1935, the inclusion caused a controversy in 1997. A Muslim group argued that the portrayal of the Prophet was forbidden and that the faof the sculpture should be sanded down. Chief Justice William Rehnquist responded that the sculpture was “intended only to recognize [Prophet Muhammad], among many other lawgivers, as an important figure in the history of law.” In addition, an Islamic legal scholar, Taha Jaber al-Alwani of the Fiqh Council of North America, wrote an extensive fatwa arguing that the sculpture was intended as a positive gesture and as an honor bestowed by non-Muslims. The group that raised the concern stated that they felt the issue was closed and the matter was behind them. As one article noted, the incident helped point out that not all taboos are eternal.

 

3) The U.S. Capitol

Walk across the street from the Supreme Court to the US Capitol building. Around the walls of the House of Representatives Chamber are twenty-three relief portrait plaques, depicting “historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law.” Installed in 1950, the portraits include Moses, Grotius, Napolean, Blackstone, and Jefferson. At the North-East corner, between Maimonides and Innocent III, is a portrait of Suleiman, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566.
Best remembered today for the architecture he sponsored, including the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul and the old city walls of Jerusalem, Suleiman was known during his lifetime as the qanuni, the one who gives “canon” or laws. Among some of his laws, according to historian Lord Kinross, he issued a ferman prohibiting blood libel against Jews, and developed a reform that reduced levies paid by Christian Rayas, “raising their status above serfdom to the extent that Christian serfs would migrate to Turkish territories to benefit.”

 

4) The Dome of the Library of Congress

Painted in 1897 by Edwin Blashfield, in the gigantic coffered dome above the main reading room of the Library of Congress is a mural of Human Understanding, depicted as a female flanked by two cherubs. Surrounding the mural are twelve winged figures representing epochs which were thought to have contributed to the evolution of Western civilization. The figures include Judea, Greece, Rome, Italy, Spain, England, France, and Islam. Islam is portrayed as a figure standing next to an alembic with a banner reading “Physics,” representing the contributions of Islamic physical sciences.

The impact of Islamic lands on the physical sciences is succinctly demonstrated by observing the number of scientific words that originated from or were transmitted through Arabic, many recognizable by the prefix “al”, which means “the.” The words include those used in mathematics (algebra, algorithm, average, zero, decipher, Arabic numerals), astronomy (nadir, zenith, almanac, and the majority of star names), and chemistry (alcohol, alkali, amalgam, benzene, elixir, and alchemy – the precursor word for chemistry).   

5) The Library of Thomas Jefferson

Walk East into the Library of Congress' Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room. Here, amidst Jefferson's personal library, one finds a two-volume copy of the Qur'an, translated by George Sale and initialled by Jefferson himself. Jefferson purchased the Qur'an in 1765 while studying to be a lawyer. The copy of Qur'an entered public awareness in 2007 when it was used during the swear-in ceremony by Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to the US Congress.

Ellison said that using Jefferson's Qur'an made an important point: “It demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Qur'an. A visionary like Thomas Jefferson was not afraid of a different belief system. This just shows that religious tolerance is the bedrock of our country, and religious differences are nothing to be afraid of.”

That, perhaps, is what this tour can teach us. More than anything about Islam, these symbols are about America. They are about an openness to acknowledging America's debt to a shared human heritage, a concept that seems to have been all but forgotten in today's environment.

It is perhaps a lesson equally applicable now to both America and many Muslim-majority countries: it is only by recalling the best of our principles and traditions that we can defeat the worst of them.

Follow Furqan on Twitter @furqankshaikh

Bill de Blasio and Sadiq Khan, London’s First Muslim Mayor, Tout Values at Forum

By Madina Toure • 09/18/16 8:06pm

Mayor Bill de Blasio listens as his London counterpart, Sadiq Khan, the city’s first Muslim mayor, speaks. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

Global pals Mayor Bill de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, that city’s first Muslim mayor, discussed their vision for inclusive, progressive cities and doubled down again at anti-immigrant rhetoric in the presidential race.

The forum—titled “Building Inclusive and Progressive Cities” and held at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City—was moderated by Dalia Fahmy, assistant professor of political science at LIU Brooklyn. The forum was hosted the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit.

The two mayors—who have known each other since 2014—shared what they have done and plan to do to make their cities more inclusive and progressive, discussed recent hate crimes against Muslims in their cities and throughout the country and weighed in on the current presidential race.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan speaks during a forum in Long Island City. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

Khan said he was especially impressed by de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign message, saying de Blasio “managed to articulate a mood and a feeling that New York has felt and I feel that London has felt and still feels.”

He said that it is important to note that “we have multiple layers of identity”: he says he is proud of his British, European, Asian, Muslim and Pakistani identities.

“When you become a successful politician, whether it’s a mayor, a member of parliament or a president—it’s really important to be inclusive,” Khan said. “During my campaign, we had a strap line which I genuinely believe in, which is a mayor for all Londoners. I will say this with humility but to be frank: I’m not a Muslim mayor, I am a mayor of Islamic faith.”

De Blasio touted his 10-year affordable housing plan and his universal pre-kindergarten initiative as signs that he has addressed the “Tale of Two Cities” dilemma. He said that creating affordable housing on a massive scale gets “at the heart of the number one expense in people’s lives” and that universal pre-K provides “educational opportunities across the board.”

“I think what you (Khan) did in your campaign was we said, ‘It’s time to say this out loud and address it,'” de Blasio said. “The good news is you can, you actually can address it.”

And though neither mayor directly named—and said they wouldn’t—Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, it was clear where the two mayors stood on the upcoming election in November. 

Khan said his opponent was creating the impression that London “wasn’t ready to elect a politician of Islamic faith” and that some of the “worst sorts of Islamophobia you’ve ever seen were commented on during the campaign.”

He said his approach was to “energize, infuse and excite people” to join his campaign, giving people a choice of “hope over fear, unity over division”—something he believes will play out similarly in the upcoming presidential election. 

“And I’m optimistic over the next few weeks and months, I shouldn’t really get involved in the American election,” he said, to roaring laughter. “And I hope the best candidate wins and I’m sure she will,” he said, namelessly referring to Clinton as both de Blasio and the crowd laughed and applauded.

“That was very subtle,” de Blasio said in response.

Mayor Bill de Blasio listens during a forum alongside London Mayor Sadiq Khan. (Photo: Madina Toure for Observer)

De Blasio, for his part, said that “people who are different” have been subject to “decades and decades” of mistreatment that increased particularly since the September 11, 2001 attacks that brought on a “rampant Islamophobia.”

But he said this has also been met by “crazy national attempts by some to indict immigrants,” noting that that might work in Iceland—though he said that would still be “morally wrong”—but that the United States “was based on immigration from its earliest moments and never stopped being based on immigration.”

“Half the people who are attacking ‘immigrants’ had immigrant grandparents or immigrant great-grandparents,” de Blasio said. “This is backward.”

On the subject of the explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood Saturday night that injured 29 people, the mayor noted that it was Police Commissioner James O’Neill’s first full day as the city’s top cop and praised New Yorkers for not giving into fears stoked by terrorism. Khan, for his part, said London “stands with New Yorkers” and said he was impressed by the mayor’s response—addressing people’s concerns instead of playing on fears.

The pair drew laughs several times throughout the forum, with Khan saying more than once that New York City is the “second best city in the world.” De Blasio also referred to him as his “good friend.” 

The pair frequently praised one another, with de Blasio smiling and listening intently and proudly as Khan spoke. When the two were asked about how they help minority women succeed, de Blasio also praised Khan’s “mum” for raising him well and said that his wife, First Lady Chirlane McCray, puts pressure on him to address women’s issues. 

Indeed, the two mayors have already struck up a friendship that goes back to 2014 when they first met at a Labor Party Conference in Manchester, England, according to de Blasio when he publicly congratulated him in May. 

And like de Blasio, Khan has not been shy about his disdain for Trump. In an interview with TIME Magazine in May, he praised de Blasio for “doing interesting housing stuff in New York,” he said he would be interested in meeting and engaging with American mayors—but that a Trump presidency may stop someone like him from entering the United States. (In response, Trump actually told the New York Times that Khan could be an exception to the ban.)

Also spotted at the forum were City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Queens Councilman I. Daneek Miller—the Council’s only Muslim member—and Assemblyman David Weprin. 

Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.

 The Only Way for Muslim Americans to Be Considered Patriotic: Stay Silent

From Khizr Khan to Fareed Zakaria, Muslims who speak out are smeared as un-American.
By Laila Lalami
September 14, 2016

 Khizr Khan holds a copy of the US Constitution as he makes remarks during the fourth session of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. (Rex Features via AP Images)

This election season has been bruising and divisive, but it has had the one advantage of clarifying for Muslims that we are conditional citizens. We must constantly prove our allegiance by showing gratitude to America, muting criticism of the government and its foreign policy, and denouncing any Muslim, anywhere in the world, who takes it upon himself to commit an act of violence. If we fail to abide by these rules, our loyalty is called into question.

July’s Democratic National Convention provided a clear example of what I mean by “conditional citizenship.” On the final night of the convention, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, a Muslim couple from Virginia, took to the stage to speak about their son Humayun, an Army captain who was killed in the Iraq war in 2004. Mr. Khan praised America and eulogized his son, but he also criticized Donald Trump for his proposal to ban Muslims. Pulling out a copy of the Constitution from his breast pocket, he asked, “Have you even read the United States Constitution?” It was an electrifying moment, and it turned the Khans into instant media sensations.

Had this challenge about the Constitution been made by a non-Muslim, Trump’s response would likely have been a dismissive “Yes, I’ve read it many times, believe me,” perhaps followed by an insult of the kind he frequently levels against his critics. But because the challenge was made by a Muslim, Trump resorted to bigotry. He insinuated that Ghazala Khan, who stood silently by her husband’s side, had been prevented from speaking because of her religion and that Khizr Khan had “no right” to say what he did. Four days after the convention, a Trump surrogate began circulating rumors online that Khizr Khan had “ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood and that Captain Khan was a jihadist who had joined the Army in order to kill Americans. This was how, in less than a week, Humayun Khan went from being remembered as a war hero to being cast as a stealth terrorist. Captain Khan’s citizenship had been conditional on his service and his silence, but when his father spoke up to demand equal rights, the entire family was smeared.

The Khans are not alone. Whenever Muslims become politically prominent, their views are scrutinized and their visibility is challenged. In July, when Fareed Zakaria criticized Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention, Ann Coulter immediately mocked his “thick Indian accent.” I do not recall anyone attacking Fareed Zakaria for his accent back in 2003, when he argued forcefully in support of the US invasion of Iraq. But now that he has become more critical of that war, publicly embraced his Muslim identity in a Washington Post column, and become outspoken about Trumpism, he is being accused of promoting the “jihad rape of white women,” a claim so ridiculous that it is hard to believe anyone would put any stock in it. And yet the accusation continues to circulate online.

Then, in August, the New York Post ran an article claiming that Huma Abedin, an aide to Hillary Clinton, had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood because she worked as an assistant editor of a “sharia newspaper.” In fact, the newspaper in question was an academic journal on Muslim minority affairs, founded by Abedin’s father and now edited by her mother. The claim that Abedin had connections to the Brotherhood had no factual basis, but that did not stop Roger Stone, an advisor to Donald Trump, from calling Abedin a “Saudi asset.” Pause for a moment and consider what this term implies. Whatever Abedin’s religious views, the very fact that she identifies as a Muslim has made her, according to Stone, an agent for a foreign government and a traitor to her own country.

To be considered properly American, then, Muslims must serve their nation and remain silent. American Muslims have it much better in this country than anywhere else in the world, the logic goes, and therefore we ought to be quiet. If we become critical of establishment figures or dare to challenge political orthodoxies, our patriotism is disputed.

So rooted has the traitor/patriot dichotomy become that it can be used to attack non-Muslims as well. When Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, refused to stand for the national anthem as a protest against police brutality, rumors spread that he had converted to Islam. It did not seem to matter that Kaepernick identifies as a Christian or that he has Bible verses tattooed all over his body. The fact that his girlfriend is Muslim was sufficient to give weight to the rumors. Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the flag could only mean that he was not really American, and thus he became Muslim.

None of this is new. For the last eight years, the conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not born in the United States has fed on—and, in a vicious circle, been fed by—the claim that he is a secret Muslim. By linking Obama to Islam, the far right has found it easier to argue that he is weak on terror, that he has ties to the Weather Underground, or even, as Donald Trump recently claimed, that he founded ISIS.

Anti-Muslim sentiment is stronger in the United States today than it has been at any time in the last fifteen years, including immediately after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many more Muslims are in the public eye than there were back then, however, not just in politics, but also in film and television, in arts and culture, in music and sports. This increased visibility is what is being challenged. So Peter King holds House hearings, Newt Gingrich proposes loyalty tests, Ted Cruz suggests monitoring our neighborhoods, and Donald Trump wins the Republican party’s nomination on a platform that includes a Muslim ban. The message to Muslims could not be clearer: We are guilty until proven innocent.

Conditional citizens are treated with fear and suspicion. We are expected to demonstrate our allegiance and offer blind support. But the true measure of patriotism is not silence or acquiescence; it is dissent and debate.

2 persons of interest in custody in burning of Muslim woman’s blouse in midtown

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — Two persons of interests are in custody in connection with the burning of a Muslim woman in midtown over the weekend, according to police sources.

They were taken into custody Thursday. Police say they recognized the teens from the surveillance video.

The attack happened last Saturday when a 35-year-old woman dressed in traditional Muslim garb was set on fire while she was standing outside a store on Fifth Avenue, police say.

The woman was walking down Fifth Avenue outside Valentino just before 9 p.m. when she says she felt something warm on her arm.

The woman saw her blouse was on fire, and frantically patted out the flames, police say. That's when she noticed a man standing near her with a lighter. She told police that the man did not speak to her and just walked away.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is trying to determine if it was motivated by bias toward Muslims.

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) condemned attack on the woman in the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims and urged New York’s mayor to add resources for the investigation of hate crimes.

Reward Offered.

CAIR is offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator suspected who set the clothing of a Muslim woman on fire outside a store in Manhattan Saturday September 10th.

NOTE: Anyone with information about these crimes should contact NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

Cops release video of man suspected of setting Muslim tourist’s blouse on fire in midtown

MIDTOWN, Manhattan — The NYPD released footage of a man who they believe lit a Muslim tourist's blouse on fire in front of a luxury clothing store on Fifth Avenue last Saturday.

The 35-year-old victim, dressed in a traditional Muslim garb, was outside Valentino in midtown just before 9 p.m. when she says felt something warm on her left arm and noticed her blouse was on fire, police said.

She patted out the fire and saw a man standing next to her with a lighter in his hand, according to police.

The individual then walked away east on East 54th Street. Surveillance video shows the alleged attacker in a black tank top and dark-colored jeans.

The victim declined medical attention.

The NYPD's Hate Crime and Task Force is investigating.

The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) condemned attack on the woman in the latest in a series of attacks on Muslims and urged Mayor Bill de Blasio to add resources for the investigation of hate crimes.

CAIR announced Tuesday a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in the assault.

"It is important that the perpetrators of these crimes be apprehended and their motives be established," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "The spike in incidents targeting American Muslims and their institutions is the inevitable result of the ongoing mainstreaming of Islamophobia we are witnessing in our society."

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).