Hate crime figures announced at news conference with Muslim community leaders at start of Oscar Morel double murder trial
(NEW YORK, NY, 3/5/18) – Today, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) and other Muslim community leaders held a news conference following the start of the Oscar Morel double murder trial.
Morel faces first degree murder charges in the 2016 deaths of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin. Opening statements, which had been scheduled for Monday morning, were postponed after several jurors reported conflicts to the court and were excused from jury duty. CAIR-NY serves as civil counsel and media representative for the Akonjee and Uddin families.
FOR BACKGROUND ON THE CASE, SEE:
At today’s news conference, CAIR-NY presented its preliminary 2017 civil rights data, showing a significant increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in New York State since President Trump’s election. Key findings include:
- A 74% increase in anti-Muslim harassment, discrimination, and hate crimes statewide in 2017
- Hate crimes increased 74% statewide compared to the 10 months immediately prior to President Trump’s election, though they remained flat when compared to 2016 overall.
- 1/1/2016 – 1/7/2016: averaged 3.22 hate crimes per month.
- 11/8/2016 – 12/31/2017: averaged 19.15 hate crimes per month.
- 2017: averaged 5.58 hate crimes per month, a 74% increase.
- Travel complaints increased 660%, including numerous complaints from U.S. citizens.
- Immigration cases and referrals increased 314%
* A majority of 2016 anti-Muslim hate crimes occurred in the last 7.5 weeks of the year, immediately following Donald Trump’s election as president.
“Our families are grateful to be one step closer to justice,” Said Saif Akonjee, eldest son of Imam Akonjee. “My father and Brother Thara came to the U.S. to find a better life, and they pursued the American dream. But that dream, and their very lives, were stolen by violence and hate. We hope Oscar Morel will pay for his crime.”
“Today, we stand with the Akonjee and Uddin families as we take a major step toward securing justice,” said CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn. “This despicable double murder was an attack on the promise that New York is a place where we all can practice our faith in peace and safety. We are grateful to the Queen’s County District Attorney’s Office for its continuing support for the Akonjee and Uddin families throughout this case. Mr. Morel faces serious charges, and it’s disappointing to see the silly claims he’s putting forth to distract the public from the impact of his alleged actions on our city. While this was a singularly horrific crime, it was far from the only suspected hate crime to target Muslim New Yorkers. This past year saw nearly a doubling in anti-Muslim hate crimes compared to the period before President Trump’s election.”
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 mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, fomentar el diÃ¡logo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensiÃ³n mutua.
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CONTACT: CAIR New York Legal Director Albert Fox Cahn, 571-766-6273, email@example.com