Community, elected officials call for an end to Islamophobia
After some recent incidents, community members and elected officials are calling for an end to Islamophobia.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams met Friday with board members of the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center of Bay Ridge hear their concerns.
On Monday, News 12 reported that a family claimed they were harassed by a woman while shopping. Mido Mourad was shopping with his twins and wife at the TJ Maxx on 86th Street last Saturday.
He says they were deciding whether to wait in the long line or go for Muslim prayer service. That's when he claims the woman started cursing at them.
They tried to leave to de-escalate the situation when she allegedly yelled, "Go back to your country.”
The 41-year-old dad said he was disheartened by what he viewed as a lack of response by store officials and the NYPD, who did not note it as a hate crime in the police report.
Williams says many from the Muslim community told him that this is a common occurrence, but only when it involves a physical confrontation.
One of the board members says practicing Muslims are afraid to observe their religion.
“Our American Muslim kids…They're losing their identity because of fear,” says Naim Jawad. “We’re not a people that are going out there…looking for trouble. All we're trying to do is live the life of a Democratic American.”
TJ Maxx responded on Monday saying it would be taking internal action to help future customer situations.
Williams says he wants to work with the NYPD on clarifying the gray area of hate crime reporting and also make sure constituents don't live in fear.