CAIR-NY Welcomes Arrests in Election Night ‘Obama’ Attack

New York:  The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY) has welcomed the arrest of two teenagers who allegedly assaulted a Staten Island Muslim of African heritage on Election Night after reportedly shouting ‘Obama.’

The two 18-year-olds face assault as a hate crime and weapons charges for allegedly attacking 17-year-old Ali Kamara, whose family moved to New York from Liberia in 2000. Following the attack, CAIR-NY called on the FBI to probe the incident as a possible hate crime.

SEE: 2 S.I. Men Charged With Hate Crime (NY Times)
SEE ALSO: Arrests in Election Night Attack on Black NYC Teen (AP)
NY Muslim Beaten By Gang Shouting ‘Obama’ (CAIR)

“We welcome these arrests and thank local law enforcement authorities and the FBI for their prompt and professional response,” said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. “This apparently bias-motivated attack should be viewed as a direct challenge to the inclusive nature of our nation’s political process.”

Latif noted that CAIR’s New Jersey office had condemned a post-election cross-burning on the lawn of a family in that state.

SEE: CAIR Condemns Cross Burning on Lawn of NJ Obama Supporter

Earlier in November, CAIR called on the FBI and local police to investigate a paintball attack on a Maryland mosque as a possible hate crime. Other acts of vandalism have targeted Muslim individuals and Islamic institutions in Illinois, Nebraska and nationwide. Last month, a North Carolina man was sentenced to 45 days in federal prison for e-mailing a death threat to CAIR and a Hispanic group.

Law enforcement authorities in California are investigating a recent death threat against a Muslim candidate for the Irvine City Council. In April, CAIR sought hate crime charges against the alleged perpetrator of a March "Molotov cocktail" attack on a Kansas Muslim. That same month, CAIR's Minnesota chapter asked the FBI to investigate reported threats against the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy charter school in that state as possible hate crimes.

The Kansas assault and the threats to the Minnesota school came following other incidents such as a fire-bomb attack on a Minnesota Muslim-owned business and an arson attack on a Tennessee mosque by three members of the white-supremacist "Christian Identity" movement.

CAIR is concerned that the general level of anti-Muslim bias has been increased by the distribution of the anti-Muslim film "Obsession" to 28 million households in presidential election swing states nationwide.


The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group is urging Muslims nationwide to review security procedures using advice contained in its "Muslim Community Safety Kit."

SEE: CAIR Muslim Community Safety Kit

In September, CAIR released its annual report on the status of American Muslim civil rights. That report, called "Without Fear of Discrimination," outlined 2,652 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2007.

To view the entire report, go to:

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. 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.




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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