Muslims are whining about a new New York City proposal that would significantly limit food cart vendors near the World Trade Center, saying the move is “Islamophobic” because the bill would get rid of 22 street vendors, 18 of which are Muslim halal vendors.
NY Eater City Hall debated a new law on Thursday that expands the no-vending zone around the World Trade Center (WTC) complex — legislation proposed by City Council Member Margaret Chin that would force 22 food vending business to leave the area.
At face value, it’s a safety measure: Chin, who represents lower Manhattan’s district 1, says the bill accommodates an increase in congestion caused by the opening of several newly completed WTC buildings. “This legislation is about safety – for residents, visitors and workers alike,” says Chin’s spokesperson Marian Guerra.
Oleg Chernyavsky, NYPD director of legislative affairs, added that while NYPD acknowledges the value street vendors bring to the downtown community, street vendors carts can be used to conceal explosives and often contain flammable gases — saying that their proximity to the WTC is an issue for safety and congestion.
But advocates for vendors say that the bill’s safety rationale is a ruse. Sean Basinski, co-director of the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project, says he believes the heart of the bill is “Islamophobia,” which recalls the Ground Zero Mosque opposition. Of the 22 business that would need to go, 18 of them are run by Muslim vendors.
Getting rid of Muslim Halal food vendors is a health safety issue. See video below:
“The NYPD has a history of Islamophobia,” says Basinski.(Maybe because so many of them were killed by Muslims on 9/11?) “They are implying that vendors are going to put bombs in their carts, which when you are dealing with mostly Muslim vendors, is offensive. The city has offered no evidence that any vendor there presents any risk. (Any Muslim in that part of town poses a risk)
The bill helps clear pedestrian traffic from vehicle checkpoints, which get blocked by cart vendors and throngs of hungry pedestrians, Chin argues.
Muslim advocates and street vendors see the bill as little more than “racist” (What ‘race’ is Islam?) measure aimed at a mostly Muslim workforce, they say. While those food vendors are not allowed anymore, the new legislation will not apply to the mostly white farmers at the weekly WTC Greenmarket, who haul in their goods in large trucks every week and are able to freely operate within the no-vending zone, Basinki says.
NYPD’s Chernyavsky says the Greenmarket is on private property and that their trucks must go through security detail run by the Oculus and are therefore not a threat.
“Why would we attach a bomb to our cart?” questioned another Muslim street vendor who testified. (Oh, I don’t know, let me count the ways)
Albert Cahn designated terrorist group CAIR-NY (Council on American Islamic Relations), testified on behalf of the displaced Muslim vendors as well. “This legislation robs them of their livelihood and it creates a double standard with farmers at the Greenmarket and Muslims who run carts,” Cahn says. (Too bad. White farmers didn’t fly planes into the World Trade Center)
“Even if it is not your intent, you are giving a public relations win to anti-Muslim extremists who paint our Muslim neighbors as a threat. (A bonus!)