NYC Launches New Programs to Quell Criticism of Islam

Bill de Blasio / AP
September 29, 2016

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced on Monday that the city will be implementing a new series of programs aimed at ending criticism of Islam.

The effort is being spearheaded by the New York City Commission on Human Rights along with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and the Office of Immigrant Affairs. The city says that the social media campaign and upcoming series of events are meant to "promote respect, understanding and support for the city’s diverse Muslim communities."

As part of the new campaign, the city has made new posters with pictures of Muslims reading, "I am Muslim. I am NYC," and a Twitter hashtag, #IamMuslimNYC. New York will also host "fair treatment forums," develop a "cultural competency workshop," work on public outreach, launch a media campaign, and host a forum with de Blasio and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim. The name of the forum with de Blasio and Khan is, "Building Inclusive and Progressive Cities."

The press release from the city notes actions already taken, including the recognition of two Muslim holidays as public school holidays.

"Now more than ever, it is important for every New Yorker to stand united as one city and reject hate and violence," de Blasio said. "In New York, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Agnostic, and Atheist–it doesn’t matter. We are all New Yorkers and we all deserve to live safely and free from hatred or discrimination."

The Daily Caller notes that, in another initiative, the city spent over a quarter of a million dollars on a campaign encouraging people to use the bathroom "consistent with who you are." It is unclear how much the new campaign on Islam will cost.

The actions taken by de Blasio come in the wake of multiple bombings in New York City and New Jersey by a Muslim who was "fascinated" by jihadism, according to his father, and followed the works of al Qaeda and Taliban figures.