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Bay Ridge marches against Muslim-bashing on Martin Luther King Day.

Civil Ridgites movement: MLK Day march against Muslim bashing

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They’ve preached an understanding!

Bay Ridgites marched in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, responding to Islamophobic tension locals say grips the neighborhood.

A high-profile terror attack in California and borderline hate-speech certain right-wing presidential candidates espouse has whipped xenophobic Ridgites into a frenzy, one marcher said.

“People are stirred up,” Jen Kruger said. “When we have people running for president on anti-Muslim platforms, then that is going to stir people up and make them feel free to lash out physically and vocally against things they are frightened of.”

The 200-strong crowd stepped off from the corner of 86th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, where a man allegedly kicked and spit at a Muslim woman while she waited for a bus about a month ago. Demonstrators started there to reclaim the site, an organizer said.

“We wanted to send a message that the people who hate can be loud, but they’re not the majority, and they’re definitely not us,” Teri Brennan said.

But some Ridgites have been more aggressive toward neighbors that they perceive to be Muslim since a pair of terrorists pledging allegiance to the so-called “Islamic State” killed 14 and hurt 22 in California on Dec. 2, a community leader said. Seven Ridge Muslim women have reported harassment to the Arab-American Association of New York since the Dec. 2 tragedy, according to executive director Linda Sarsour.

Monday’s march ended at Salaam Arabic Lutheran Church on 80th Street and Fourth Avenue, where aplurality of faiths and ethnicities took part in an age-old tradition — they broke bread, the church’s pastor said.

“This is a wonderful community, yet there is hate rhetoric, and we try to address this by coming together, knowing our neighbor, breaking bread together, and bringing our children so they can see who is the other,” the Rev. Khader El-Yateem said.

A complex debate over immigration and foreign policy is fueling Bay Ridge’s fire, but something much simpler can quench it, Sarsour said.

“I think people don’t do the basics,” she said. “We don’t need to do any political education — just say ‘Good morning.’ ”

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Fred from Bay Ridge says:
Muslims are not the victims here, no matter how much people try to push that viewpoint. There is no greater force for repression of free speech, violence against LGBT people, and oppression of religious minorities than Islam. And people like Sarsour are apologists for repression.
Jan. 19, 2016, 9:14 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
Bay Ridge should protests against civil disorder like littering, dirty sidewalks, dangerous driving, harassment by youth on the street, etc.
Jan. 19, 2016, 9:43 am
Bob from Bay Ridge says:
It was a wonderful event.
Jan. 19, 2016, 3:32 pm
Mike m from Sunset bay ridge says:
I've lived in sunset park / bay ridge for 30 years and I've met along with so many others the aggressive nasty attitudes of so many Arab Muslim so called Americans against anyone who is not there own!
Jan. 19, 2016, 3:33 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Why not march to protest the genocide Muslims are waging against Christians and Yazidis in the Middle East?
Jan. 19, 2016, 4:47 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I don't hate Muslims as a whole, I just hate the ones that act like extremists. I would like to see Muslims who will protest against the actions done by Hamas on Israeli civilians, but I doubt that will ever happen. I feel that the primary reason is because they tend to view Hamas as freedom fighters even though Hamas has a history of hating freedom especially when it means people can be against them. Another thing is that a good number of Muslims actually support Hamas and I find that very appalling as an Israeli-born Jew for anyone who believes that there are good terrorists when there really aren't.
Jan. 19, 2016, 5:02 pm
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
It seems that many terrorism shown on the news are from dysfunctional youth with attention deficit.
Jan. 19, 2016, 6:04 pm
Rick from B R says:
Mike m, I've lived in B Ridge for almost 30 years ... long enough to hear old Ridgers bi--h about the "aggressive nasty attitudes of so many" Asians, Jews, Russians and Hispanics ... and anyone else who isn't of those old Ridgers' "own."
Jan. 19, 2016, 6:11 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
It was a wonderful event. Glad the Muslims of Bay Ridge could see that not all Ridgers are racists and don't hold them responsible for terrorism any more than we hold all white Christians responsible for the Oklahoma City Federal Bldg. bombing.
Jan. 19, 2016, 6:58 pm
Mike E from Bay Ridge says:
As a lifelong Bay Ridgeite, I was very happy to see so many people come out on a frigid day to show support and signs of peace. I have been embarrassed in the past of the behavior of some of my neighbors, like the one that verbally and physically assaulted the woman weeks earlier on the corner where the march began simply for wearing a hijab.

I am very proud to stand with the folks I walked with, and newly met friends as well!
Jan. 19, 2016, 7:10 pm
Rebecca W from Bay Ridge says:
It was a fantastic day of affirmation, solidarity and unity. So many great people came out. We had only thumbs up from onlookers and zero hecklers. Hundreds of people came out face-to-face in the cold for peace, love and understanding. I shall not be bothered by a couple of haters in the comments section.
Jan. 19, 2016, 7:26 pm
Jim M from Bay Ridge says:
Great event. Perfect way to spend MLK Day reminding us all how much stronger and better we are standing united and marching forward than cowering alone clutching onto fears and prejudices.
Jan. 19, 2016, 7:30 pm
kbro from kensington says:
http://www.occupydemocrats.com/the-top-five-attacks-on-america-committed-by-christian-terrorists-not-muslims/

following the logic of some commenters here, we should be most fearful of white male christians, not muslims. the point being--don't demonize and judge an entire people, religion or "race" based on the actions of a very few.
Jan. 19, 2016, 7:34 pm
kbro from kensington says:
btw, i counted at least 390 people on the march, almost double the figure given in the above article.
Jan. 19, 2016, 7:40 pm
Ed from Bay Ridge says:
I found out about this march via a news story and was very glad that I could participate.
Jan. 19, 2016, 8:15 pm
Katie from Bay Ridge says:
I happened to comr across the march and I'm so glad that I did. I'm so proud to live in a neighborhood with such diversity.
Jan. 19, 2016, 10:35 pm
Johnny Jihad from Bayruit says:
atheist* :P
Jan. 19, 2016, 11:50 pm
John from Bay Ridge says:
Kbro, Islam not only supports violence against and repression of non-Muslims, it makes it a basic tenet of the religion. Quite unlike Christianity. Islam is the fascism of our age.
Jan. 20, 2016, 8:49 am
Fred from Bay Ridge says:
I see that a 1400 year old Christian monastery in Iraq was destroyed by the Islamic state this morning, part of the genocide, both physical and cultural, being waged by Islam against Christianity and other non-Muslims. What's even sadder is that this genocide is nothing new. The Islamic state is closely copying what Mohammed and his companions did to non-Muslims centuries ago. Those actions are incorporated into the Koran as religious obligations.

But let's pretend that Islam has nothing to do with this violence.
Jan. 20, 2016, 10:35 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
love is unconditional, hate is conditional
Jan. 20, 2016, 11:33 am
Boris from Borough Park says:
You sound like a real hater Richard. "Subhuman?" have you been reading Mein Kampf?
Jan. 20, 2016, 4:07 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Richard, I do know that terrorism isn't limited to one group such as the Muslims, but my comment is about how many Muslims are willing to call out their own kind for doing that. Unfortunately, they aren't a big number to that. Whenever there is a rally to call out terrorists that attack Israel such as Hamas and Hezbollah, I have seen Muslims nearby making arguments against them as if they feel that they are some resistance group. Also, they tend to cry foul when seeing ads that call out Hamas like the ones Pamela Geller placed as if they believe she is attacking the group as a whole when she really isn't. I do care about Muslims being mistreated, but that doesn't give them the right to mistreat others, and I do believe that there is such a thing as racist minorities, so quit saying that only a certain group is limited to this. I would like to see in the next Salute to Israel Day Parade some Muslims marching in it, but that probably won't be very likely, because many of them will see it as a pro-Israel march and they don't want to be viewed as Israel collaborators. For those who don't know what I mean about Muslims mistreating others, you should see what they did to Jews in Europe not that long ago especially when they attacked them in making their anti-Israel statements even though those Jews had nothing to do with Israel whatsoever, which makes me feel as if those attacks were being anti-Semitic. On a side note, Jews are still the big victim of hate here, but it seems as if many tend to turn a blind eye to that.
Jan. 20, 2016, 4:27 pm
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
let's for that many Muslims in Bay Ridge will convert to Christianity as they receive the love of the community.
Jan. 20, 2016, 6:41 pm
Literate Neighbor says:
Boris, you think that RICHARD sounds like a real hater?

Wow. How did you miss crazy Johnny Jihad's trashing of Muslims as a "hateful, bigoted, perverted hate group" that "should all be exterminated like ... rat filth vermin"? Or of others as
"traitorous pig coward apologists"?

Sounds pretty Mein Kampfy to me.
Jan. 20, 2016, 7:08 pm
jo says:
Hideous changes to homes is #1 on the hate list? Almost hilarious.
Jan. 20, 2016, 9:35 pm

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