(NEW YORK, NY, 6/16/13) – On Friday, the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) submitted written testimony for a public hearing on that state's hate crimes law hosted by ranking member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations State Senator Brad Hoylman.
The forum to discuss New York's 13-year-old law came in the wake of a recent spike in hate incidents in New York City. CAIR-NY has received 10 reported incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the last 10 months.
The testimony submitted by CAIR-NY specifically addressed underreporting of hate crimes, the promotion of anti-Muslim sentiments in the community by discriminatory policing and the rise of anti-Muslim hate groups based in New York.
CAIR-NY urged those in attendance to familiarize themselves with the CUNY Center for Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) Mapping Muslims Report to understand the damage created by the NYPD mass surveillance of Muslims. CAIR-NY also urged support for legislation in Albany introduced to end NYPD unconstitutional surveillance of Muslim communities.
The testimony also highlighted the interactions between the nine New York-based anti-Muslim hate groups and policy makers in the state.
“We look forward to following-up with Senator Hoylman to ensure our recommendations are taken to heart and to bring more awareness to the root causes of anti-Muslim violence in the state of New York,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad. “We cannot afford to focus only on responses to hate crimes while we have elected officials and policy-makers actively creating the atmosphere of anti-Muslim sentiment that facilitates these crimes.”
The offices of various elected officials joined CAIR-NY to testify at the hearing including the offices of State Assembly Member John Millman, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, New York City Council Member Daniel Dromm, and the Kings County District Attorney.
CAIR's national office submitted written testimony to a federal hate crimes hearing in 2012, hosted by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.
CAIR-NY is a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad, 347-296-7966, firstname.lastname@example.org