ADL: Attack On NYC Taxi Driver 'Especially Disturbing' In Current Anti-Muslim Atmosphere

New York, NY, August 26, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) strongly condemned the stabbing of a New York City taxi driver in an apparent anti-Muslim hate crime, calling the attack especially disturbing amid the current atmosphere of elevated anti-Muslim sentiment surrounding the Ground Zero controversy.

Michael Enright is accused of stabbing Ahmed H. Sharif after entering his cab and asking the driver if he was Muslim. According to police, the suspect also referenced military checkpoints and uttered an Arabic phrase before attacking Sharif with a knife. Enright is charged with attempted murder and assault as a hate crime.

Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director, issued the following statement:

The attack on Ahmed Sharif was a brutal hate crime and we condemn it in the strongest terms. No person should ever be targeted because of their religion or ethnicity, and there is no justification for singling out Muslims.

It is especially disturbing that this attack occurred amid an atmosphere of elevated anti-Muslim sentiment surrounding the Ground Zero controversy. No matter the passions stirred up by an issue, resorting to anti-Muslim bigotry and violence is unacceptable. 

New Yorkis a diverse city of equally diverse opinions, but we must not allow these differences to overshadow the basic tenets of mutual respect and human dignity. We applaud the NYPD for bringing bias crime charges in this case, and urge that the suspect be prosecuted to the full extent allowed under the state's hate crime law.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.