(NEW YORK, NY, 3/19/18) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) today expressed solidarity with the Suffolk County Christian community following vandalism of a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Police say the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Church of Saint Gerard Majella was vandalized sometime between Friday and Sunday. A similar incident at another local church is also being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Whenever a house of worship is targeted by an act of violence, Americans of all faiths must speak out in defense of religious freedom and in solidarity with one another,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher.
She noted that Muslims hold the Virgin Mary in the highest honor as the mother of Jesus.
The Quran, Islam’s revealed text, states: “There came the time when angels said: ”˜O Mary! Surely God has exalted you, purified you, and preferred you for His service over all the women of the worlds.’” (The Holy Quran, 3:42)
CAIR 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, Kansas, 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: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
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.
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