Many of the heavy hitters of Brooklyn politics, not to mention representatives of religious and ethnic organizations such as the Jewish Community Relations Council, Chabad Lubavitch and the Council on Islamic American Relations, came to Borough Hall Thursday for a rally against hate crimes.
The rally was initially organized by Mohammed Ravzi, co-founder of We Are All Brooklyn and executive director of the Council of People’s Organizations (originally the Council of Pakistani Organizations).
It was prompted by the well-publicized incident last week where a young rabbi, Uria Ohana (who spoke at the gathering) was harassed by several Arab-American youths. But other recent hate incidents were also mentioned.
Some are well-known, such as the Remsen Street swastika incident in Brooklyn Heights. Others are not, such as the finding of satanic symbols at a Brooklyn church and the gang attack on a Chinese-American student at a Gravesend middle school.
The most dramatic remarks came from the actual victims and their family members. Rabbi Ohana applauded the group’s efforts and added, “We should make sure that this type of incident will never happen again.”
Although Ohana’s attackers were Arab-Americans, representatives of Arab and Muslim groups at Thursday’s rally, such as the Arab-American Association of New York and the Council on Islamic American Relations, all condemned the attack.