For Immediate Release
CAIR: NY Cabbie Stabbed After Asked 'Are You Muslim?'
Muslim civil rights group asks leaders to repudiate Islamophobia
WASHINGTON - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on
religious and political leaders to repudiate Islamophobia following an
attack on a New York taxi driver who was allegedly stabbed by a
passenger who had asked him if he was Muslim.
According to media reports, a 21-year-old man hailed a cab in
Manhattan on Monday night. He reportedly asked the driver "Are you
Muslim?" and when the driver said yes, the man slashed him with a knife
on the throat, arm and face. The driver stopped the cab and approached a
police officer, who arrested the attacker. The attacker has since been
charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, assault, aggravated
harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
"As other American minorities have experienced, hate speech
often leads to hate crimes," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad
Awad. "Sadly, we've seen how the deliberate public vilification of
Islam can lead some individuals to violence against innocent people.
It's time for responsible leaders to speak up to stop irresponsible and
Awad encouraged actions such as those taken by interfaith
leaders in Connecticut, who held a vigil yesterday at the First
Congregational Church in Stamford, Conn., in a display of unity and
solidarity with the Muslim community.
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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.