MANHATTAN – It was just after 6 a.m. Monday when the 45-year-old worker got off the No. 7 at Grand Central-42nd Street Station.
Soha Salama said she had been targeted and taunted while riding the subway. When she got off, she ran from the man who was following her and calling her a “terrorist.” That’s when he allegedly pushed her down the stairs and took off, police said.
It’s becoming a more common crime in New York City – with incidents like these reported in all five boroughs. From swastikas to Islamophobic slurs, police are tracking a disturbing trend.
So far in 2016, hate crimes are up 35 percent in New York City compared to this time last year. And since the election last month, they’re up 115 percent according to the NYPD. Mayor de Blasio didn’t mince words about who he thinks is to blame.
“You can’t have a candidate for president single out groups of Americans negatively and not have ramifications and negative,’ de Blasio said. “It’s not a surprise.”
Last week, NYPD officer Aml Elsokary, who is Muslim, was with her teenage son when they were attacked and threatened outside their home in Brooklyn. Christopher Nelson, 36, was arraigned Monday on felony hate crimes charges.
“I have faith that Allah’s going to help through this hard time,” Elsokary said. “For my sisters out there you’re not alone and I’m with you day and night.”
“It’s been maybe the busiest month in NY ADL history. The sheer number of hate crimes its unprecedented for us so we’re doing what we can to help.”
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said those committing hate crimes will be caught.
“If anyone is thinking of engaging you, you will be identified, arrested and charged accordingly,” O’Neill said. “There’s no place for that in NYC.”