New York, NY, September 15, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned an apparent bias-motivated attack against two women perceived to be Muslim in a Queens subway station this week.

According to reports, a mother and daughter were spit on and punched as the mother was derided as a “dirty Muslim” and told to get out of the country in a Queens subway station on September 13. The women were perceived to be Muslim although they are Orthodox Jewish.  Police reports indicate the attacker has been arrested for assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment, among other charges.

“Whenever prejudice or bigotry animates an attack, it is detestable. Our heart aches for the mother and daughter who suffered this heinous incident,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “An assailant’s particular perceptions need not be accurate for an attack fueled by hate to be a potential hate crime. All violence, harassment or bullying motivated by religious animus is abhorrent.

“Incidents such as this make clear the persistence of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism, and the work that remains to be done to rid our society of these hateful plagues,” Mr. Bernstein added. “We appreciate and commend the hard work of the NYPD and the elite Hate Crimes Task Force to keep all New Yorkers safe. Particularly as we head into the Jewish High Holiday season, we must come together and denounce hate and bigotry, wherever it appears.”

Recent figures from the New York Police Department show that hate crimes are up 33 percent across New York City. Crimes targeting Muslims in New York have jumped 55 percent, and nearly 40 percent of hate crimes in New York City in 2017 have been anti-Semitic.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.  Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias curricula for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all. Follow us on Twitter: @ADL_NY