Update: December 17, 2010: A grand jury declined to indict one of the suspects on any charges, and the co-defendant only on a misdemeanor charge. Hate crime charges against both were dropped.
New York, NY, December 10, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the attack on a Muslim religious leader in the New York City subway, and praised the authorities for leveling hate crime charges in the case.
During the early hours of December 8, an imam wearing a kufi – a traditional African hat – was confronted by two men who allegedly made ethnic and religious slurs as he traveled on a northbound A train. After the victim exited the train, according to police, the attackers threw his kufi onto the train tracks and repeatedly punched him. Both suspects were arrested and charged with robbery and assault as hate crimes.
Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:
This deplorable hate crime against a Muslim religious leader is an unfortunate reminder that people in our community continue to be singled out because of their religion. No person should ever be targeted because of their religious beliefs or appearance.
Those who specifically seek to harm members of a religious or ethnic group are often trying to send a broader message of fear and intimidation to a community. These hate crimes have no place in our society and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
We commend the New York City Police Department and its Hate Crimes Task Force for their swift action in this case.