In the aftermath of last month’s Muslim terror attacks in Paris and this week’s Muslim terror attacks in San Bernardino, NYC officials have bolstered security for the Muslim community and quietly stepped up outreach to Muslim residents, trying to calm fears of hate-filled retaliation and mend a relationship that has been fraught with mutual suspicion.
Post Bulletin Rather than resume enhanced surveillance of mosques, Muslims, and Muslim businesses as done under the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations, the city has increased its presence in Muslim neighborhoods, sending staffers to visit mosques and meet with imams and worshippers. Police officials have briefed community leaders on new counterterrorism procedures (That’s right, tip off potential terrorists about what you are doing to stop them).
Other city officials have urged Muslims to report any hate crimes, the number of which is sharply lower in New York in 2015 than at this time a year ago.
In a speech Friday evening at an Islamic community center, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would deepen its relationship with Muslim New Yorkers and vowed dogged investigations into any hate crimes. “We are a stronger city because of the contributions of the Muslim community,” he said. (Oh, really? Name some)
De Blasio’s speech at the Jamaica Muslim Center, or Masjid Al-Mamoor in Queens, is the most high-profile move the administration has made to calm jittery Muslims since the Nov. 13 attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris and this week’s slaying of 14 people in San Bernardino, California. (How about calming jittery New Yorkers who feel threatened by Muslims in their city?)
Six days after the Paris attacks, the mayor’s office organized a meeting among 40 community leaders — the vast majority Muslims — and police with aims of building the trust necessary for Muslims to turn to law enforcement to report crimes.
Hanane Dannech, a 50-year-old Muslim who immigrated from France, said earlier Friday she has noticed more officers watching her mosque in Brooklyn recently.
“We, really, we feel protected,” she said, adding that what she likes about the U.S. is, “it’s the first country on Earth that takes care of other religions.”
Dannech said some public officials could do a better job of pointing out that violent extremists are the minority among Muslims rather than the norm (Yes, but even just 1% means 15 million). She said there is always a chance of harassment after “big things happen” and that “each time something happens, it gets worse.”
New York Police Department officials said there has not been an uptick in bias crimes against Muslims since the Paris attacks, though they acknowledge that some hate crimes go unreported. Under Muslim outreach, deBlasio has increased the number of Muslim police officers/potential terrorists to 900.
Some Muslims in New York say they have felt harsh stares in recent weeks. (You’re lucky that’s all you’ve felt)