Vigilance in the Fight Against Islamophobia


Dear Neighbor,

As we get ready to celebrate Eid al-Adha, I was pleased to stand with my friends from the Islamic Leadership Council of New York to call for increased security at Mosques across the City. With the recent spike of violence against the Muslim community, we should be receiving the same security for our holidays just like other houses of worship do.

In our continued efforts to reach out to New Yorkers, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and I wrote an op-ed called “Vigilance in the Fight Against Islamophobia” where we discuss the need to come together as a City to ensure all our residents feel welcome. With increased rhetoric and Islamaphobia being seen in popular culture and politics, it is important to remember that when one religion or community is attacked, it affects all New Yorkers.

That is why we make the point of writing “When an individual’s ability to publicly practice his or her faith is threatened, all of our liberties are at stake. We need to protect the freedom to practice faiths of all kinds and to educate others about diversity. That’s why the City added two Muslim holy days to the public school calendar in 2015, to ensure that all Muslim-American students can celebrate holidays together with friends and family.”

We also had a meeting with representatives from Speaker Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s offices, NYPD Community Affairs, the Commission on Human Rights, and Muslim leaders from across the City to ensure we were prepared for Sunday’s celebrations. Local precincts around the City have been visiting Mosques to see how many people will be observing Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and what their schedules are, so they can patrol areas as it is needed. With over one thousand Muslim police officers and auxiliary officers being used to increase security, I am pleased to see steps are being taken to keep us safe and will work to ensure this is only the beginning of the dialogue so we can feel safe practicing our faith.  

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