One in four Muslim Arab women who wear a hijab in New York City said that they were intentionally shoved on a subway platform in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, according to a new report on discrimination and acts of hate from the NYC Commission on Human Rights.
Now, in a report released this week, the New York City Commission on Human Rights took a closer look at bias, discrimination and acts of hate across the five boroughs.
The commission specifically looked into the experience of Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish and Sikh New Yorkers concerning bias, discrimination and acts of hate from July 2016 to late 2017. More than 3,100 of these New Yorkers responded to the commission’s survey.
Nearly two in five of the survey respondents reported experiencing verbal harassment, one in 10 said they were the victim of a physical assault and one in six said that they experienced some form of “racial, religious, or ethnic discrimination-related problem in their employment,” according to the report.
Despite these experiences, nearly 71 percent percent of respondents said that they did not report bias incidents a community-based organization, a faith-based organization, the commission or the NYPD, because they did not think their reports would be taken seriously. They also feared retaliation, according to the survey, and noticed that previous reporting did not result in action.
“No one in New York City has permission to discriminate against or harass others because of who they are, where they pray or what country they come from,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, chair of the commission, in a statement. “The data from this survey is an invaluable tool that will help the Commission and other stakeholders better address and prevent these incidents and ensure that people know where to go to get help.”
The commission will also figure out, Malalis said, how the city can be a better resource to Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish and Sikh New Yorkers “who are far too often the targets of discrimination and harassment.”
The commission also launched an ad campaign this week encouraging New Yorkers to report any such incidents. The campaign includes a fact sheet available in 12 languages based on key findings of the report.
“No one should have to suffer harassment or discrimination,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, in a statement. “Our office works with the NYC Commission on Human Rights every day so that more New Yorkers, regardless of race, ethnicity, or religion, can confidentially report harassment they face and receive justice.”