“It is a hate crime and must be prosecuted,” Alina Nisar wrote on an online petition calling for the removal, at taxpayer expense, of the name Mohammad from the 200 names in black granite along Broadway from Battery Park to City Hall, installed in 2003 to honor every ticker tape parade to travel down the corridor.
NY Post (h/t Mike F) To Muslims, trampling over sacred names — such as the religion’s prophet Muhammad — is an insult. “Walking on an important symbol is a sign of disrespect,” said Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for Hamas-linked CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations).
But the engraving — located on Broadway between Rector Street and Exchange Place — isn’t for the prophet Mohammad at all, it’s for Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, the former Shah of Iran who was a close ally to the U.S. and was overthrown by the radical Islamic mullahs, who turned the secular nation of Iran (formerly Persia) into a fundamentalist religious tyranny.
A Downtown Alliance spokeswoman estimated it would cost taxpayers roughly $10,000 to remove each name totaling $110,000 for all 11.
Pahlevi’s name was installed to commemorate a City Hall reception and parade for the ruler on Nov. 21, 1949, as part of the Big Apple’s “Canyon of Heroes.” “It was with the utmost respect…that we placed granite markers…to more permanently commemorate them,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York.
It’s unclear why there is a movement afoot now — as opposed to 14 years ago — to remove that name, and 10 others. “It really hurts the feelings of people of Muslim faith,” said Yasir Bhai, the treasurer for One Nation US, who helped create a separate petition late last year that now has over 700 signatures, they said.
On the other hand, a plaque dedicated to Henri Philippe Petain, who handed 10,000 Jews over to Hitler, will continue to be a part of lower Broadway’s ‘Canyon of Heroes.’ (And no Jews are demanding it be removed)