The New York branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations is demanding that police re-examine a July 3 incident in which a man in Brooklyn sought to defend his girlfriend from two Muslim teens who had been harassing her. CAIR wants NYPD to start a bias crime probe into an assault that occurred outside the Madine Muslim Community Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, during the early morning hours. Muslims were celebrating the end of Ramadan: a month of fasting and prayer.
Police said the 16-year-old males were, according to the New York Post, “hitting on a woman inside a parked vehicle for more than a half-hour.” According to police spokesman Lt. Brendan Ryan, the two teenagers tried to open the door to the vehicle and poke their heads into her window. The woman reportedly said that she felt threatened. It was then that her male companion emerged from a building and allegedly attacked the teens.
“The hate crimes unit investigated it and determined that this incident is not a hate crime,” Ryan said. However, NYPD is investigating the alleged assault and are looking for the man involved.
On July 4, CAIR released a statement on its Facebook page that claimed that one of the Muslim teenagers was taking a breather from the lengthy prayers at the mosque when he and the other adolescent were attacked by a man who yelled, “You f---ing terrorist,” and “You Muslims are the cause of all the problems in the world.”
On the Muslims Giving Back Facebook page, a statement set out the group’s demand for a bias crime investigation. “2 of our young community members and volunteers just got attacked outside our masjid after prayers. One had a concussion after the attacker repeatedly kicked him in the face. The attacker ran away after some of our members chased him.” The man has not been arrested.
“One of the victims heard the attacker shout "Terrorist!" while being punched to the ground. This is absolutely a HATE crime. We are urging our community, our activists, our leaders, to help us make sure the NYPD 72nd precinct files this as a hate crime and catch the perpetrator. May Allah protect the innocent. Please pray for these young kids and their families.”
The Muslim advocacy group claimed that the man punched one of the teens and threw him to the ground. CAIR also claimed that the man kicked and stomped him. The group claims that the teen suffered cuts and contusions, bruises, and swelling. He was treated at New York’s Lutheran Hospital, while the second teen suffered a black eye.
“Our position is, let’s keep all possibilities open, at least until the assailant is arrested and questioned,” said NY CAIR Executive Director Afaf Nasher.
A spokesman for the Madine mosque claims that closed-circuit surveillance video shows the teens around the car, but says it never showed them doing anything inappropriate. The spokesman said that the police now have the surveillance tape. The spokesman said that the teens believed that there was something strange in the car and were merely peering inside. In any event, CAIR stated that the injuries to the teens were unwarranted.
Since the attack, NYPD has placed an officer in front of the mosque for security. Mosque leaders said they had requested special protection last month. A mosque in Houston beefed up its own security after receiving threats. The mosque leaders in New York say that the attack on July 3 would not have occurred if they had been given adequate protection from the police.
CAIR has had numerous victories in pushing its agenda in the courts and government institutions. For example, it expressed approval of the reinstatement of an officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD), which had earlier suspended him for failing to keep his beard to a regulation length. The department has agreed to review its no-beard policy.
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