Three Muslim women — including a veteran NYPD officer — were the target of alleged attacks that were solely based on their religion in the past five days in New York City.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Police Commissioner James O'Neill have all decried the sudden uptick in alleged bias crimes.
“It’s obviously more complicated than that. It is not linear,” de Blasio said Monday when asked if he blamed President-elect Trump for the spate of reported hate crimes.
"Do I blame Donald Trump for using hate speech during his campaign? Absolutely. He did. It's a fact. he said horrible things about Muslims, horrible things about Mexican Americans," de Blasio added. "I don't need to recount what happened for a year-and-a-half in this country. We can't airbrush that out of our history."
Cuomo said in a statement released on Monday that “acts of hate will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
More than twice as many hate crimes have been reporter after the election compared to the same time last year, according to the NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force. In general, hate crimes this year are up by 31%.
On Monday morning, 45-year-old Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee Soha Salama said she was shoved down a flight of stairs at Grand Central Terminal by a man who followed her off the train as she went to work.
"You're a terrorist, go back to your own country!" the man said, according to Salama, WABC reported.
"He pushed me down the stairs, yes. It's my first time I face something like that," Salama said of her two-decades in New York City. Salama suffered a swollen ankle and twisted knee.
Officer Aml Elsokary, 34, an American-born Muslim who wears a hijab and has served on the force for over 10 years, saw a man allegedly push her son near her home in Brooklyn on Saturday.
When Elsokary, who was off-duty at the time, approached the man, he told her to "go back to your country," the New York Daily News reported.
The man then told Elsokary, “You guys think this is a joke? I'll slit your throat, you ISIS (expletive),” according to court papers obtained by the paper.
The man, who has since been arrested and identified as Christopher Nelson, 36, loosened the grip on the leash of his pit bull and urged the dog to attack. The dog did not.
Nelson was charged with menacing as a hate crime and second-degree aggravated harassment. His bail is set at $50,000.
"I became a police officer to show the positive side of a New Yorker, a Muslim woman, that can do the job, that is non-biased, that I could help everybody no matter what’s your religion, what’s your faith,” Elsokary said at a news conference on Monday.
Elsokary was honored in 2014 for saving a grandmother and her one-year-old grandchild from a burning home in Brooklyn.
"I was sick to my stomach when I heard that one of our officers was subjected to threats and taunting simply because of her faith," de Blasio said at the news conference, adding, "We can’t allow this."
On December 1, Yasmine Seweid, an 18-year-old college student, was allegedly approached by three white men who she described as drunk. They said "Oh, look it's a f****** terrorist," Seweid told WABC.
According to Seweid, the men, who said something about Donald Trump on the train, followed her as she got off the 6 train at Grand Central. They allegedly grabbed her purse, breaking the strap — later they tried to remove her hijab.
Seweid said no one helped her.
"I looked at people and they just looked away, and that was the part that really hurt," Seweid told WABC. "Yeah, it sucks they're Donald Trump supporters, it happens, but I just never expected no one to stand up and say 'hey guys, cut it out!'"
Talal Ansari is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. His secure PGP fingerprint is 4FEE 894C 8088 7E08 E170 A515 2801 7CC6 95D3 11C2
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