NEW YORK — It's a scene that's becoming common around New York City.
A person attacked simply because they're Muslim. One of the the latest incidents captured on surveillance video inside a West Side restaurant. The attacker eventually smashing a glass counter with nearby chairs.
"Right now I think we're living in one of the most hostile civic environments for Muslims since like weeks after 9/11," Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York located in Bay Ridge, said.
The neighborhood, home to a large population of Muslims, has seen it's share of attacks as well. On Wednesday, a woman was kicked and degraded as she waited for a bus on Fort Hamilton Parkway.
The attacks come despite calls from the president to support our Muslim neighbors.
"We betray the efforts of the past if we fail to push back against bigotry in all it's forms," President Obama said.
"I think the president's message unfortunately does not resonate with the people who are committing these types of acts," Sarsour said. "They're usually on the opposite side of his political position."
Like Republican candidate Donald Trump.
"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on," Trump said earlier this week.
Despite the fear that statements like Trump's could fuel the hatred and violence against Muslims, Sarsour said the answer is not to get angry, but rather active.
"It's about becoming politically engaged, civically engaged. Like Donald Trump cannot become the next President of the United States because we will not stand for this hate and divisiveness in our country."
When it comes to terrorist attacks that seemed to have sparked the Islamophobia now circulating around the city and country, Sarsour said she supports the condemnation of terrorists, but acknowledges the growing double standard.
"The San Bernardino couple, they were terrorists. I have no problem saying that. But also, the planned parenthood shooter was also a terrorist. So we shouldn't wait and delay based on people's religious affiliation whether or not they're terrorists. If you're terrorizing people you are a terrorist."
Sarsour said one of the most difficult aspects of addressing bigotry is explaining the current situation to children. She said the attacks on Muslims and attacks by Muslims have many young people questioning their own identity. It's part of the reason she said she continues to speak out and try and be a positive role model.AlertMe