Can This Anti-Islamophobia Campaign Stop Hate Crimes?

New York City launched its first-ever anti-Islamophobia campaign on social media to tackle misperceptions about Islam and prevent anti-Muslim discrimination and hate crimes.

The campaign includes photos of various Muslim men and women with the message “I am Muslim. I am NYC.” The images also remind New Yorkers that it’s illegal to discriminate against or harass someone because of their religion.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Commission on Human Rights launched the campaign on Monday.

“These bold new ads affirm every Muslim New Yorker’s right to live safely and free from discrimination,” Carmelyn P. Malalis, chair and commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights told Mic. “They are our police, our teachers, our small business owners and our neighbors and they deserve the same respect as everyone else.”

I Am Muslim NYC

Photo Credit: NYCCHR/NYC Office of the Mayor

In addition to the social media campaign, the Mayor’s office will partner with the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Community Affairs Unit and Muslim community leaders to host educational events designed to promote tolerance and reduce Islamophobia.

One such event is a forum called “Building Inclusive and Progressive Cities,” which will feature Mayor de Blasio and London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan and other community leaders. They’ll discuss how cities can fight Islamophobia and prevent hate crimes.

Other efforts include a cultural sensitivity workshop called “Understanding Islam,” and a city-wide media campaign coming next spring.

I Am Muslim NYCPhoto Credit: NYCCHR/NYC Office of the Mayor

Such a campaign couldn’t come at a more critical time, as a rise in anti-Muslim violence is a serious concern in the United States. Before 9/11, there were 20-30 anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S. each year. In the years following, that number rose to 100-150. That’s five times more hate crimes than before 9/11.

Currently, though, those numbers are estimated to be even higher. A recent report shows a 78 percent increase in hate crimes in 2015, the highest level since 9/11 and the second highest recorded.

Earlier this month, two Muslim women in Brooklyn were attacked while pushing their children in strollers. The attacker, a woman, screamed Islamophobic epithets and tried to pull off their veils.

I Am Muslim NYCPhoto Credit: NYCCHR/NYC Office of the Mayor

In August, a traditionally dressed, pregnant Muslim woman in the U.K. was attacked by a man who kicked her so badly that she miscarried. In the same month, an imam and his assistant were shot and killed in Queens.

Three Muslim students were killed in Chapel Hill, N.C., last year, but despite Islamophobic overtones the killer was not charged with a hate crime.

In 2015, a record number of 78 mosques were attacked and this year, falling just behind, is set to be the second-worst year on record. In one such attack, Ted Hakey Jr. fired a high-powered rifle into a mosque near his home. After pleading guilty to a hate crime, he received only a six-month prison sentence.

I Am Muslim NYCPhoto Credit: NYCCHR/NYC Office of the Mayor

These are just a few of the many attacks on Muslims and their places of worship in the last two years and some of the violence this campaign hopes to combat.

“Now, more than ever, it is important for every New Yorker to stand united as one city and reject hate and violence,” said de Blasio in a statement.

Photo Credit: NYCCHR/NYC Office of the Mayor

102 comments

Deborah W.
Deborah W11 months ago

All manner of groups have their dark side counter part -- which must FIRST be addressed within the group as best it can, rather than remaining silent and demanding others right the wrongs. All in or all out, no one-way streets. If even de Blasio seems to realize how important it is for every New Yorker to stand united as ONE., surely the rest are at least equal, probably superior to understanding this simple truth.

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william Miller
william Miller11 months ago

thanks

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federico bortoletto
federico b11 months ago

Grazie per la condivisione.

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Sam Dyson
Past Member 11 months ago

Ty

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Carol C.
Carol C11 months ago

We desperately need a nation-wide campaign like this one.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C11 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Past Member
Past Member 11 months ago

Clare O'Beara. Read about the MUSLIM cat man of Aleppo. He is risking his life to care for stray cats.

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Past Member
Past Member 11 months ago

Muff-Ann-York-Haley. Did i mention the BUSH being involved in pedophile priest scandal? Watch Deliver Us From Evil and you will see him giving CONSERVATIVE POPE immunity from prosecution. Republicans are pedophile protectors. That is one reason why i am no longer Republican. When i saw Repugs and the photo ops with Josh Duggar AFTER it was found out what he did i wanted to vomit. It is perfectly ok for CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS to have sex with children.

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Past Member
Past Member 11 months ago

Muff-Ann - York - Haley. Lol. But yet CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN PEDOPHILES do no jail time. Hastert,who is supported by CONERVATIVE CHRISTIANS , by the way. Ted Nugent,darling of NRA. Josh Duggar. Roger Ailes. pig and pedophile. Bill Cosby. Yes. He is a CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN. Should i go on?

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Past Member
Past Member 11 months ago

Isis is a CONSERVATIVE terrorist group.

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