Muslim civil rights group calls on nation's leaders to speak out against growing Islamophobia
(NEW YORK, N.Y., 12/29/12) — The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today repeated its call for America's political and religious leaders to speak out forcefully against growing anti-Muslim hate in our society after a New York woman was arrested for allegedly pushing a man to his death on the tracks of a subway station because she thought he was Muslim.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) said the alleged killer, who has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, told police the attack was “an act against Muslims” and cited the 9/11 terror attacks as a motive for her actions. Her alleged victim was reportedly Hindu, not Muslim.
SEE: Woman Accused of Hate-Crime Murder in Subway Push (NY Times)
“We again urge our nation's leaders to speak out forcefully against the rising level of anti-Muslim hate in American society that is being fueled and exploited by a vocal minority of Islamophobes,” said CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad.
Awad cited other recent hate incidents targeting Muslims or Islam:
- A designated hate group headed by blogger Pamela Geller is placing Islamophobic advertisements in transit systems nationwide, including in New York subway stations. CAIR-NY reached out to the transit authority with concerns that the ads might incite violence.
- A New York man of Afghan heritage was stabbed repeatedly outside a mosque by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim comments. A friend of the victim reported that the alleged attacker said “he doesn't like Muslims.”
- Two teens beat a 70-year-old New York man after asking him if he was Hindu or Muslim.
- CAIR's Cleveland office released a video highlighting anti-Muslim hate preached at a recent Tea Party event at a school in that state, which included claims that American Muslims “will kill your children” and that “we are in war with Islam.”
- CAIR's Ohio chapter welcomed news that the Indiana man charged with intentionally setting fire to a Toledo mosque in September pleaded guilty.
- CAIR's San Francisco Bay Area office called for increased community vigilance after a man reportedly entered a mosque in Fremont, Calif., claimed he had a gun, and threatened to kill everyone inside the house of worship.
- CAIR's San Antonio chapter called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested for vowing to “shoot as many people as possible” at a local mosque.
- In New Jersey, white supremacists faced hate crime charges for allegedly attacking several men of Egyptian descent in 2011. One of the alleged attackers wrote on a website: “(W)e went to hunt down some sand n**gers, it was me and my other bro on like 6 or eight and we whooped them.”
CAIR recently submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism.
In advance of that hearing, CAIR issued “Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012,” a report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.
CAIR Report: Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012
CAIR is 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.
– END –
CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Muneer Awad, 347-296-7966, email@example.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, firstname.lastname@example.org