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CAIR-NY to Mark One Year Anniversary of Ozone Park Double Murder, Calls On Area Faith Leaders to Remember Victims

(NEW YORK, N.Y., 8/11/17) – On Sunday, the New York Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), a leading Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will mark the one year anniversary of the Ozone Park double murder that claimed the lives of Imam Maulana Ala’Uddin Akonjee and Thara Uddin.

In anticipation of the pending anniversary, CAIR-NY wrote to Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Hindu faith leaders, requesting that they share the story of the Ozone Park murder victims with their congregations over this coming Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. CAIR-NY encourages New Yorkers of all faiths to remember this profound injustice and the stain it leaves on our city.

On August 13, 2016, the two Muslim men were killed in broad daylight as they returned home from their local mosque. The brutal crime, which corresponded with a nationwide surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes, triggered massive demonstrations in the men’s Ozone Park neighborhood and gained worldwide media attention.

Oscar Morel was arrested for the killings, and he is expected to stand trial for first degree murder in the fall.  CAIR-NY represents Imam Akonjee and Mr. Uddin‘s widows and children, supporting them throughout the criminal prosecution.

SEE: CAIR-NY Welcomes Charges Against Alleged Killer of Queens Imam and Associate, Urges Hate Crime Probe

“With the continued rise in hate crimes across New York, it is important to pursue justice for those who have been harmed by violence,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director for CAIR-NY. “We encourage other district attorneys to follow the example of the Queens D.A. by working with the victims of hate crimes and their families to ensure justice is served.”

“We commend the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their unfailing commitment to secure justice for the Akonjee and Uddin families,” said Albert Cahn, legal director for CAIR-NY. “This heinous crime not only robbed children of their fathers, and wives of their husbands, it robbed this community of its leaders.  Every time Muslim New Yorkers are targeted for their faith, it is a horrendous crime, but these murders are a singular example of the climate of hate that has been created in this city and across this country.”

In CAIR’s 2017 Civil Rights Report released earlier this summer, the civil rights group noted a nationwide spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, which rose more than 580 percent from 2014-2016. In New York State, anti-Muslim hate incidents increased by 560 percent in 2016.

SEE: CAIR Civil Rights Report 2017

SEE: “The Empowerment of Hate” Civil Rights Report

CAIR-NY is calling upon Muslim community members to report any bias incidents to police and to the organization. Contact CAIR-NY by calling (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/

CAIR’s national headquarters recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app      

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher, 917-669-4006, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; CAIR-NY Legal Director Albert Cahn, 571-766-6273, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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