Muslim civil rights group urges New York leaders to speak out against hate crimes
(NEW YORK, N.Y., 9/22/13) -- The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today called on state political and religious leaders to speak out against bias-motivated crimes after a Sikh professor was attacked Saturday night in Manhattan while being called "Osama" and "terrorist" by his alleged assailants. That same day, a Muslim woman was allegedly assaulted in New York after being called a "terrorist."
[NOTE: Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims.]
Media outlets say Dr. Prabhjot Singh, who is an assistant professor at Columbia University, was knocked down and punched numerous times in the face by assailants shouting the anti-Muslim slurs.
"New York's religious and political leaders must speak out forcefully against the type of bigotry that leads to hate attacks on people of all faiths and backgrounds," said CAIR-NY Operations Coordinator Sadyia Khalique.
Earlier today, CAIR-NY reported an apparently bias-motivated assault on a New Jersey Muslim woman taking part in a pro-democracy rally in Times Square on Saturday.
The woman, who wears an Islamic headscarf (hijab), was called an "f**king terrorist" during the assault. The incident and the arrest of the alleged perpetrator were caught on video.
Also today, CAIR condemned the terror attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in which dozens of people – including Americans – have been killed or injured.
Last week, CAIR released a report, "Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States," which identifies 37 organizations dedicated to promoting anti-Islam prejudice in America.
CAIR has in the past spoken out a number of times against bias-motivated attacks on American Sikhs.
SEE: CAIR Stands with Sikhs After Hate Vandalism of Calif. Gurdwara
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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