CAIR: NY Cabbie Stabbed After Asked 'Are You Muslim?' Muslim civil rights group asks leaders to repudiate Islamophobia
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/25/10) -- 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 DirectorNihad 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 inflammatory rhetoric."
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.
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.