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CAIR-NY Condemns Anti-Muslim Harassment on NYC Transit, Calls for Increased Bystander Education

(NEW YORK, NY, 07/13/18) – The New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned a recent act of anti-Muslim harassment on a NYC bus and called on the MTA to implement bystander-education programs.

In a YouTube video posted Wednesday night, a hate-spewing passenger on a Brooklyn-bound bus allegedly named “Ashley” can be seen viciously harassing a Muslim passenger who was wearing a headscarf. In the video, “Ashley” shouts at the Muslim woman “you f—ing speak English?” and “ICE is here for you.” She gives her name and says, “I’m fighting”¦ because she thinks she has rights that she doesn’t have.” Many of the passengers can be seen ignoring the situation entirely.  

“It’s time the MTA got serious about combating acts of harassment that New Yorkers witness every day that pose just as much a threat to the system as the ongoing infrastructure woes,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn. “This city prides itself on its commitment to diversity, and it cannot continue to lag behind others where it should be leading. Every New Yorker has a role to play in making public transportation safer for everyone.”

This latest incident is part of a well-documented pattern of anti-Muslim harassment on public transportation in New York City. A recent report by the New York City Commission on Human Rights found more than a quarter of Muslim women who wear the hijab have been pushed on the subway platform. Since 2016, CAIR-NY has recorded a 974% increase in the number of anti-Muslim acts of discrimination and violence. Despite the acute uptick in discrimination, the NYC Commission’s report also found that up to 71% of victims don’t report the incidents to anyone.

Given these statistics, CAIR-NY is calling on the MTA to implement bystander education programs, with a focus on preparing New Yorkers to intervene in acts of discrimination on public transit. Cities including Boston and San Francisco have already tackled similar problems by posting informational posters throughout their transit systems. The posters empower commuters to be prepared and diffuse volatile and hate-filled situations.

Community members are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at:

Yesterday, CAIR’s national office released an update on anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in the second quarter (April-June) of 2018. CAIR’s quarterly report indicated that anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 percent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018.

READ the Full CAIR Quarterly Report on American Muslim Civil Rights:

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

New CAIR Report: Trump’s Muslim Bans Increased Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Violence

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, 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.


CONTACT: CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, 571-766-6273,


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