Sunday, December 11, 2016

Muslim Americans ask to meet with Trump

NYPD photo
NYPD Officer Aml Elsokary, who was wearing a hijab and was off-duty with her 16-year-old son, was harassed and threatened in Brooklyn.on
A MUSLIM POLICE HERO with the New York Police Department who saved a baby from a burning building two years ago is asking for a meeting with President-elect Trump.

Yahoo reports the request was inspired after that officer, Aml Elsokary, witnessed her son being shoved by a man who later threatened to cut off her throat, told her to go back to her country, and called her a terrorist.

Elsokary was off duty at the time.

There are about 1,000 Muslims in the NYPD. The incident prompted a meeting with the NYPD Muslim Officers Society which wrote a letter to Trump requesting a meeting.

The NYPD says there has been a 115 percent spike in hate crimes since the election. Many have pointed to the incendiary rhetoric of Trump during the campaign and white supremacist groups have openly stated their alt-right movement has gained legitimacy due to Trump’s victory. 

The President-elect, when asked by the media, has told his supporters to stop, but he has been more outspoken about the way he is portrayed in comedy sketches on Saturday Night Live than he has about hate crimes.

“President-elect Trump needs to hear from and respond to the concerns of Officer Elsokary and other Muslim members of our law enforcement community,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. 

“They are not only the first line of defense on our streets; they are ambassadors of the American diversity that they represent, and millions of their brother and sister citizens are as concerned about their welfare as they are their own. Whether or not we have an invitation to Trump Tower, I promise that their message will be directly delivered.

Last week, almost 300 Muslim leaders released an open letter to Trump expressing their "serious concerns" about his policy proposals and calling on him to protect their communities.

The letter includes American Muslims at the forefront of community service, education and empowerment in diverse settings such as the academy, mosques, advocacy, and civic and interfaith engagement.

Prominent signatories include Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Khizr Khan (the Gold Star father who spoke passionately in defense of the Constitution at the Democratic National Convention), Dalia Mogahed (Author of "Who Speaks for Islam?"), Imam Suhaib Webb (CenterDC) and Husain Abdullah, a former NFL player for the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs.

The letter states in part:

“Like other Americans, we love our country and are committed to preserving religious freedom, equal opportunity and equal protection under the law for all. As our President-Elect, one of your duties is to ensure our collective safety and security. This includes protecting the First Amendment rights of all Americans to freely practice their faith, without fear, intimidation or reprisal. . .

Your recent denunciation of such behavior on 60 Minutes was a positive first step, and we urge you to clearly and strongly condemn bigotry, hate crimes and bias-based school bullying directed at any American, including American Muslims. We call on you to make mutual respect and acceptance a hallmark of your presidency."

The Department of Justice revealed that Attorney General Loretta Lynch will be visiting the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center in Sterling on (Dec. 12) Monday morning.

In a video statement issued last month, Lynch said the spike in hate crimes and the new numbers should be "deeply sobering for all Americans." She said some of the acts have happened in schools and others have targeted houses of worship.

"We will continue to enforce our nation's hate crimes laws to the fullest extent possible," Lynch said. "We will continue to uphold our conviction that all men and women deserve to lead lives of safety and dignity. And we will continue to champion the values of diversity and inclusion that have always been the bedrock of our nation's progress, and that point the way to a brighter future.

Since the Nov. 8 elections, there has been a spike in anti-Muslim attacks, reports the Southern Poverty Law Center, which keeps track of hate crimes.

Most recently, the Oklahoma chapter of the CAIR-OK on Dec. 9 called on the FBI to join a hate crime investigation of a dead pig being dumped at an Islamic center in that state. (NOTE: Muslims are prohibited from consuming pork products and bigots often use pigs or pork to offend Muslim sensibilities.)

Police say the pig was dumped at the Islamic Center of Lawton in Lawton, Okla., Dec. 7. Surveillance video shows a pick-up truck pulling into the parking lot of the center and turning around. The truck backs up and the pig’s carcass falls off the tailgate. The vehicle then drives away.

Earlier this week, police reported that a uniformed MTA officer - who wears and Islamic head scarf (hijab) – was assaulted by a man who yelled “You’re a terrorist and you shouldn’t be working for the city.” The alleged attacker, reportedly shoved the MTA employee down a flight of stairs, injuring her knee and ankle. The NYPD and New York State Division of Human Rights are investigating the attack as a bias incident.

There has not been a response from Donald Trump or his anyone in his transition team to the requests for a meeting with Muslim/Americans.
(Views From the Edge contributed to this report)