NYC Council members, advocates, speak out against Islamophobia

NYC Council members, advocates, speak out against Islamophobia

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Dhaka – Elected Officials from across the New York City have rallied on the steps of City Hall declaring their support for the Muslim community and against continued xenophobic rhetoric, says a message received in Dhaka early Wednesday.
On Tuesday, October 11th, members of the City Council, other elected officials, religious leaders and advocates from across the City, rallied on the steps of City Hall for in support of Councilman I. Daneek Miller’s Resolution declaring “That the Council of the City of New York declares support for Muslim communities, affirms the religious pluralism of the United States, and urges all residents to stand together for peace and understanding.”This is in conjunction with Local Progress, who has been working with other municipalities across the country to introduce Resolutions supporting Muslim communities. They have also collected over 500 signatures from elected officials for an open letter condemning bigotry, Islamaphobia, and pledging to support Muslim immigrant communities who have come under attack.
Council Member I. Daneek Miller said, “New York was founded by people seeking religious freedom and its elected body has an obligation to uphold those ideals. With the increased attacks on Muslims and Islamophobia rising across the country, it is important we continue to stand together against hate, and I am proud to have introduce Resolution 1230 declaring support for Muslim communities across the City. The New York City Council has recognized Muslims who have given back to their communities and ensured youth practicing our faith do not have to choose between going to Mosque and missing school during the Eid holidays. This is progress we can all be proud of and I would like to thank my colleagues in New York and across the country for their continued support.
“In NYC’s pluralistic society we must be especially vigilant and vocal in our positive affirmation of the values that represent our communities. Islamophobia must be whole heartedly condemned in any circumstance. I personally abhor prejudice and violence, and I commit myself to protecting the rights of everyone to live in security and peace,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“This election cycle, we’ve seen unprecedented levels of bigotry in our national conversation and an increasing acceptance of anti-Muslim and anti-Immigrant rhetoric. It is our shared responsibility to speak out against such hate,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “Through Local Progress, an organization I’m proud to serve on the board of, elected officials across the country are uniting together to say that we refuse to accept intolerance, prejudice, and fear as a political tactic. We are determined to do our part to enrich the diversity and tolerance of our city. In the face of toxic xenophobia, racist rhetoric, a rise in hate crimes and anti-Muslim violence— together we can demonstrate the power of solidarity in creating positive social change.”
“There is no place for bigotry and hatred toward Muslims or any other religious group or race in New York City,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Progressive Caucus Vice-Chair. “We must do everything in our power to fight racism wherever we see it in our City. New York City’s reputation as this country’s largest melting pot must go on without instances of discrimination and hate.”
“Here in Queens, we know that our diversity makes us stronger,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “We will not tolerate hateful, bigoted, or xenophobic rhetoric against Muslims. Instead, we will stand together as neighbors and friends and denounce anyone who tries to divide us.”
“Among the core principles of our nation’s founding is the freedom of religious expression, and those ideals will only continue to hold true so long as people of good character, faith and humility stand together to affirm them for all citizens,” said Council Member Ruben Wills. “Hateful rhetoric that increasingly threatens to desensitize everyday citizens to dehumanizing and venomous slurs has been channeled into acts of vandalism, violence, and even cold blooded murder, not only against practitioners of Islamic faith, but also Indians, Sikhs, and Bengalis. These citizens wear the uniform in defense of our community and nation, and have consistently given their lives willingly in the course of doing so. We have a responsibility to remind the public that people of every religious belief possess a Constitutional right to live in accordance with their principles without fear of intimidation, which is why I am proudly supporting Resolution 1230.”
“The North Shore of Staten Island is the most diverse council district in the city, with large communities from all corners of the globe and all faith groups. In light of the xenophobic, anti-Muslim rhetoric that has entered our national discourse, I proudly join hundreds of leaders across the country in condemning this bigotry,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “By signing this letter, I want all of my constituents to know that, regardless of their faith or national origin, I value the contributions they make to the North Shore of Staten Island.”
“We have entered a troubling time in America; one of regression in our national discourse, and an opening of old wounds by too many who seek division based on prejudice and intolerance,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “But in these trying times, those of us who have struggled through these battles to arrive at points of greater understanding and respect for one another will not allow hate to triumph. We will continue to stand strong, with love and tolerance as our tools, resolute in our constant pursuit of justice in all its forms.”
“Religious freedom is a founding principle of our democracy,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “The intolerant fail to recognize that our diversity makes us stronger as a nation. We are united not by the color of our skin or our religion, but by an adherence to the shared belief in our inherent right to live and express ourselves freely.”
“Vitriolic and racist language, against Muslims or other religious or minority groups, have no place in our democracy or any arena in American society. We must always speak out and stand up against it and seek to unite communities,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
“On this day we welcome and applaud the NYC Council for introducing Resolution 1230 declaring support for Muslim communities, affirming the religious pluralism of the United States. When we acknowledge the hardship and unfair treatment of one community, we acknowledge our shared humanity. Let this be the start to combat all the isms that exist in society for all of us to live in peace and harmony.” Dr. Debbie Almontaser, Muslim Community Network
“Local Progress is proud to be working with the New York City Council to ensure Muslims and immigrants do not feel targeted in our city,” said Sarah Johnson, Co-Director of Local Progress. “New York City has always stood for inclusion and has demonstrated over and over that diversity makes us stronger. And lawmakers across America agree, which is why more than 530 elected officials have taken a powerful stand to support Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs in their cities and towns. Bigotry and violence have no place in New York, and we will continue to work with lawmakers around the country to make sure we are upholding our most fundamental values.”
“Over 100 local elected officials from across New York State have joined together to condemn hatred & anti-Muslim bigotry. New Yorkers from Niagara Falls to Suffolk County are joining New York City to stand for tolerant and welcoming communities,” said Molly Clifford, Rochester Councilmember and organizing committee member of the New York State Progressive Elected Officials Network (NYS PEN), the New York affiliate of Local Progress. Councilmember Clifford is advancing a similar proclamation in the Rochester City Council in coordination with the Monroe County Legislature and the Rochester City School Board.
“This an important step in responding to violent bigotry and by passing this resolution, the New York City Council has sent a strong message to the entire community that Islamophobic rhetoric and violence has no place in the City and that the American Muslim community is not alone.” Melanie Robbins, Anti-Defamation League
“The ability to worship a Higher Power freely has been the cornerstone of our great nation. We must be vigilant and never let that right be taken away from us. Together is we engage in an atmosphere of acceptance, tolerance, understanding and live our nation will become stronger and the Constitution that we all respect and admire will become the guiding light for all our citizens no matter their race, creed, or color” said Mazaeda A. Uddin, CEO/President of South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship & Training (SAFEST)

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