Religious Leaders and Elected Officials Condemn Firebombing
|Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, District Attorney Richard Brown, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, other Elected Officials and Religious Leaders from Christian, Jewish, Hindu and Muslims Communities attended a press conference at Imam Al-Khoei Foundation on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in a strong show of support after Molotov cocktails hit Al-Khoei Foundation, a Hindu house of worship, and two other locations in Queens this weekend.
From Left to Right: Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sheikh Maan Al-Sahlani,
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, District Attorney Richard Brown and Al-Khoei Foundation's UN Rep. Meesam Razvi.
|Links to Coverage in News Media
New York 1
ADL - NY Region
American Muslim Congress
Arab Muslim American Federation
Arab American Family Support Center
Council of Peoples Organization
Church of the Ascension
Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew
Diocese of Long Island
East African Imam Council
Flushing Interfaith Council
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
Interfaith Center of New York
Islamic Center of Long Island
Islamic Information Center
Jagat Satyam Sabha
Jamaica Muslim Center
Jewish Board of Rabbis Judson Memorial Church
Muslim American Society of Queens
Muslim Consultative Network
Muslim Foundation of America
Naujawanane Ali Akber
New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC
New York State Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform
Occupy Faith NYC
Queens Congregations United for Action
Religions for Peace
Shia American Relationship Council
St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church
Universal Truth Assembly
Women for Afghan Women
Zainabia Islamic Center
"Whether it was senseless violence or a hate crime will be determined down the road. But in either case we're just not going to tolerate it in this city. And fortunately the number of incidents like this are very low, but one is one too many," Bloomberg said.
“This man, whoever did this, he must be punished to fullest extent of the law. This is terrible. And to just throw bombs when you don’t even know who’s inside, that’s wrong. That’s wrong and it’s not right for Queens,” said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
Authorities have now announced that a man confessed Tuesday to five recent firebomb attacks in Queens and Long Island and he is now facing charges including arson as a hate crime.
While damage to the Foundation was minimal and no one was hurt, there were about 80 people inside at the time. The Foundation also houses a full time Pre-K to Grade 12 school.
Police Commissioner, Elected Officials and Religious leaders Address the Press Conference.
"We were a little bit anxious and a bit nervous in the beginning because we weren't sure. But now after having seen all the support that we have been receiving it is very reassuring," said Al-Khoei Foundation UN Representative Meesam Razvi.
"Yes it was a bit scary because we deal with kids but I hope everything is gonna be fine," said teacher Rehana Nassar.
“We are one family. If one gets hurt, all the family gets hurt. So, we have to be shoulder to shoulder,” added Sheikh Maan Al-Sahlani.