NEW YORK — The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit is currently investigating an incident over the weekend as a hate crime assault.
It happened on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus in Queens on Sunday morning. According to witnesses, the suspect approached a young Sikh man, who was wearing a turban, and said, “We don’t wear that in this country, and take that mask off!”
The suspect then struck him in the face, back, and the back of his head, and tried to forcibly remove his turban.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a local chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, issued a statement on Monday, condemning the assault.
According to police reports, the victim is a 19-year-old Sikh man, and the assailant has not yet been apprehended.
Afaf Nasher, the Executive Director of CAIR-NY, said, “We condemn this apparently bias-motivated hate crime assault against the Sikh community. We pray that the victim of this violent assault recovers quickly and heals from this trauma.”
Nasher went on to address the broader issue of rising hatred and prejudice, stating, “Once again, we are seeing hatred and ignorance spinning their ugly heads just like post 9/11. Incendiary one-sided statements from public officials have consequences, and that is evident in what is happening in the streets.”