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CAIR-NY Condemns Brutal Attack on Hindu Priest Near Queens Temple; Calls for Swift Hate Crime Probe

(NEW YORK, NY, 7/21/19) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the brutal attack on a Hindu priest near a Queens temple this past Thursday.

According to reports, Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri, a Hindu priest, was attacked by 52-year old Sergio Gouveia who was yelling “this is my neighborhood” during the incident.  Puri was dressed in religious clothing at the time of the attack.  Gouveia is charged with assault, harassment and criminal possession of a weapon. This attack comes on the heels of President Trump’s racist attacks of Reps. Omar, Cortez, Tlaib, and Pressley. 

SEE: Hindu priest brutally attacked near Queens temple  

SEE ALSO: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher Responds to Racist ”˜Send Her Back’ Chants at Trump Rally

Reports indicate that the NYPD is conducting a hate crimes inquiry but have not specified if Hate Crimes Task Force would be in charge of the inquiry. CAIR-NY calls on the NYPD to conduct a hate crimes investigation swiftly.    

“We stand by our Hindu brethren during this hardship. No human being should suffer through an assault because of his color or faith,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher. “As hate crimes continue to break record numbers, our President revels in promoting a divisive, racist nation. The president can help our nation heal if he wanted to, but he shamefully chooses to stoke flames for his political gain.”

CAIR-NY and the American Muslim community have in the past expressed solidarity with Jewish, Christian, Native American, African-American, and Sikh communities in New Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Alabama, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Ohio, Texas, and other states following acts of hate, threats, violence, vandalism, arson, or bombings.  

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

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.


CONTACT: ”¯CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed,; 646-481-2103; CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher,; 917-669-4006


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