#IAmMuslimNYC Campaign Launched

The Office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Commission on Human Rights have launched an advertising and social media campaign, I am Muslim, I am NYC, with the hashtag #IAmMuslimNYC, in an effort to counteract anti-Muslim sentiment in the city. In addition, community outreach efforts through workshops and forums will be undertaken to promote an understanding of the Islamic faith and to ensure that residents of Muslim communities are protected against discrimination.

In recent weeks, Muslim residents in the city have been the victims of violence, threats, and hate speech. “We cannot and will not let xenophobia or violence against hard working Muslim families or any other group become the norm in New York City,” said Commissioner and Chair of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Carmelyn P. Malalis.

“Muslim New Yorkers are our police, our teachers, our small business owners, and our neighbors. The commission is fighting discrimination in all its forms and continues to ramp up public education efforts to bridge cultural divides and foster respect among the city’s diverse communities. In New York City, we embrace our differences. They do not divide us.”

As part of the campaign, the Commission on Human Rights has released a document detailing “Protections for Muslims & Those Perceived as Such – 10 Things you should Know.”  The document elucidates human rights law pertaining to protection from harassment and bullying, employment and housing discrimination, and other matters.

The documents notes, for instances, that “employees have the right to request reasonable accommodations to observe a religious practice or wear religious attire in the workplace. Examples include growing a longer beard or wearing turbans, hijabs, headscarves and kufis,” unless such accommodation poses “an undue hardship” for the employer. Further, individuals cannot be refused service “because of their actual or perceived religious belief or faith.”

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