(NEW YORK, N.Y., 5/16/2017) – The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today condemned an allegedly bias-motivated arson attack on the home of an African-American family in upstate New York.
On Sunday night, authorities were alerted to a fire at an African-American family’s home in Schodack, N.Y. Law enforcement found a Nazi swastika and racial slurs spray-painted on the front of the garage before it was destroyed. Though the home was also damaged by the fire, it remained largely undamaged. No one was hurt in the blaze.
“Too often we have seen how bias-motivated incidents impact families and destroy lives of different targeted groups, while going largely unnoticed,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director of CAIR-NY. “We are glad that in this instance the family is safe and that authorities are investigating the incident as a hate crime. This proactive approach by law enforcement is a step in the right direction for the safety of this family, and for all New Yorkers.”
“All New York police departments must make sure that hate crimes are investigated and punished to the full extent of the law,” said Albert Cahn, legal director for CAIR-NY. “We must do more as a state to secure that long-unfilled promise that no New Yorker should ever face violence because of their race or faith.”
Last week, CAIR-NY called on the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigation Unit to step-up its investigation of a “suspicious” fire that damaged a building owned by the Lackawanna Islamic Mosque of Lackawanna, N.Y., injuring seven.
Earlier this week, CAIR condemned recent racist incidents in Idaho and Virginia as part of the “rising tide of bigotry in our nation.”
Yesterday, CAIR’s Florida chapter reacted the release of surveillance video of an arson attack on a mosque in that state.
In CAIR’s recently released 2017 Civil Rights Report, “The Empowerment of Hate,” the civil rights group noted a nationwide spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, which rose more than 580 percent from 2014-2016. Additionally, attacks on Muslim-owned property, including vandalism and arson, increased nearly eight-fold from 2014-2016. The situation is even more extreme in New York State, where anti-Muslim hate incidents increased more than 560 percent in just 2016.
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: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
– END –