Denouncing Mosque Attacks in Brooklyn

Dr. Husam Rimawi, president of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, at the July 22 press conference (Photo by Paula Katinas via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Dr. Husam Rimawi, president of the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, speaking at the July 22 press conference (Photo by Paula Katinas via Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Muslim, Jewish and Christian community leaders gathered on July 22 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to condemn attacks that occurred at centers where Muslims gather to observe the holy month of Ramadan, Paul Katinas of Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports. The press conference was called by the Arab American Association of New York.

Eggs were thrown at Muslims arriving at Ramadan services the evening of July 16 at the Tayba Islamic Center at 2165 Coney Island Ave. in Brooklyn, and anti-Islamic slurs were shouted, according to Manaf Abdul, a spokesman for the mosque.

On Sunday, worshipers at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge were frightened by a car with flashing lights – not a police car – that pulled up and remained in front of the house of worship, said Dr. Husam Rimawi, president of the society.

The police are investigating the attacks.

“It really breaks my heart,” said Douglas Jablon, vice president of Maimonides Medical Center. Jablon, who is Jewish, said Jews sympathize with Muslims because they too have been victims of religious intolerance. “As Jews, we know what discrimination is,” Jablon said.

The types attacks that took place over the weekend cannot be tolerated, Jablon said. “It has to be stopped here. We have to stop it now,” he said.

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said people should be able “to worship freely and safely.” As for the attacks, they will not be tolerated by City Council members, he said. “Not in our districts! Not on our watch!” he said.

Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, noted that the assailants in the Bay Ridge incident are believed to be three young men from a neighboring community.

The attacks “are no reflection on the Jewish community here,” she said, adding that Muslims and Jews have lived peacefully side by side in Brooklyn for many years.

For more comments from local leaders on the events, go to Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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