(NEW YORK, NY, 1/27/17) â€“ The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading New York advocacy group for Muslim civil rights, today welcomed an arrest in the apparent Islamophobic hate attack on a Muslim airline employee at JFK Airport.
According to police, Robin A. Rhodes, 57, of Worchester, Mass., attacked a female Muslim employee in her office at the Delta Sky Lounge. The victim wears and Islamic head scarf, or hijab, in observance of her faith.
According to police, Rhodes first asked the victim â€œAre you [expletive deleted] sleeping? Are you praying? What are you doing?â€Â Next, Rhodes threatened to kick the victim in the â€œ[expletive deleted] ass,â€ and kicked the victim in the leg.Â
Rhodes next stepped into the victimâ€™s office, blocking the door.Â When the victim was able to escape, Rhodes followed her, shouting: ” Islam, ISIS, Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium and France about these kind of people. You will see what happens.”
- SEE: 'ISIS, Trump is here now' Mass. man yells while attacking Muslim airline employee: Queens DA
- Trump fan charged with hate crimes over JFK Muslim attack
“No election or president gives bigots the right to attack Americans going about their daily business and observing their faith,” saidÂ Afaf Nasher, executive director of CAIR-NY. “New Yorkâ€™s airports are a gateway to travelers from around the world.Â They should showcase our diversity and religious freedom, not bigotry and hate.”
â€œWeâ€™re grateful to our law enforcement partners for their quick response to this disturbing attack,â€ said CAIR-NY Director of Strategic Litigation Albert Cahn. â€œFor every one hatemonger, we know that there are thousands of New Yorkers who stand in support of their Muslim neighborsâ€
The attack came at the same time that thousands of New Yorkers gathered in Washington Square Park to support Muslim and undocumented New Yorkers.Â The peaceful rally, which drew more than 3,000 demonstrators to Washington Square Park, opposed the very type of violence that unfolded just a few miles away at JFK.
This arrest was just the latest in a string of violent hate crimes in the New York region.Â Earlier this week, CAIR-NY welcomed the arrest of Andrew M. Plachecki for violently attacking a New Paltz, NY, Cab driver.Â Plachecki, who works as a corrections officer in Rockland county, NY, was charged with multiple felony hate crimes after allegedly holding a gun to the head of a Muslim cab driver and calling him a â€œmotherf—ing piece of Muslim sh-t.â€
- See: New Paltz hate crime suspect is corrections officer in Rockland County
- SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Arrest in Islamophobic Hate Attack on New York Cab Driver
That same day, CAIR-NY welcomed an arrest in a hate attack on a Brooklyn priest.Â As a civil rights organization, CAIR-NY is committed to speaking out whenever any New Yorkers are targeted on the basis of their faith.Â In that matter, the alleged perpetrator shouted racial slurs, spat on the victim, and brandished a baseball bat.
Similarly, CAIR-NY condemned a bomb threat last week against a Syracuse Jewish Community Center.Â The threat, which was made by telephone, forced the center to evacuate its facility and conduct a sweep with bomb-sniffing dogs.
Additionally, late last month, CAIRâ€™s national office expressed solidarity with Montanaâ€™s Jewish communities after neo-Nazis announced plans to stage an armed, anti-Semitic march in that state.Â In that case, a leader of the neo-Nazi movement announced plans for the hate march in Whitefish, Montana â€œagainst Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either.â€
Muslim 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/ Â 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. Â
â€“ END â€“ Â