CAIRO - American Muslims have rallied in New York to protest the subway killing of an Indian immigrant by an Islamophobe, blaming officials for the rising anti-Muslim sentiments in the United States, Huffingston Post reported Wednesday, January 9.
"When our own government, our own police, our own institutions, our own media continue to engage in racial profiling or painting communities as suspect, we cannot expect the results to be any different than what they are right now," said Fahd Ahmed, legal and policy director for the South Asian advocacy group Desis Rising Up and Moving.
Scores of Muslims rallied in the Queens district on Tuesday to protest the killing of an Indian immigrant, who was pushed to death onto a subway train track in New York last week.
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The killer, Erika Menendez, said she selected her victim because she believed him to be a Muslim or Hindu.
"I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers," she said.
Ahmed, the legal and policy director, said the death of the Indian immigrant was not an isolated incident in the US.
In November, a devout Muslim was stabbed outside a mosque in the Queens district because of his religion.
A man was also arrested in the area over charges of the serial killings of three Brooklyn shopkeepers with Middle Eastern backgrounds.
In August a white supremacist killed six Sikhs in an attack on their temple in Wisconsin.
Since the 9/11 attacks on their country, US Muslims, estimated by 7-8 million, have complained of facing discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.
A recent report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California said that Islamophobia in the US is on the rise.
Muslim leaders blamed government policies and anti-Islam campaigns for the hatred climate facing the minority.
"Our elected officials and NYPD come out and say, 'Well, we are not for demonizing American Muslims, or demonizing these communities,'" said Muneer Awad, executive director of the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
"We're trying to help them acknowledge that their policies are actually reinforcing that hostility."
The Muslim community has been sensing a growing hostility since Republican lawmaker Peter King held a hearing on what he called radicalization of US Muslims.
Adding to the hostility were attempts by Republican lawmakers to ban the use of Islamic Shari`ah in courts.
Reports about police surveillance on US Muslims and their mosques as well as a series of ad campaigns linking Islam to terrorism and Jihad to savagery further inflamed the situation.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, which championed the previous ads, has launched a new campaign in subway stations.
The ad depicts an image of the burning World Trade Center, with a quote attributed to the Qur'an saying: Soon shall we cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.
"They may be legal but they're not moral, said the Rev. Chloe Breyer of the Interfaith Center.
Demonizing the religions of others does not show New Yorkers at our best.
A US survey has revealed that the majority of Americans know very little about Muslims and their faith.A recent Gallup poll, however, found 43 percent of Americans Nationwide admitted to feeling at least a little prejudice against Muslims.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net