Archive for New York

Shaul Spitzer: Teen Gets Prison in Religious Dispute Firebomb

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Shaul_Spitzer_Hasidic

Shaul Spitzer

What if he were Muslim? Spitzer firebombed his neighbor for disagreeing with a Rabbi’s religious opinion. Should Judaism be blamed for this now? Of course not.

Spitzer’s sentence was reduced because of concern about how he will fair in prison life. Hopefully some Muslim prisoners can protect Spitzer while he is in prison, he will certainly need help (h/t: JD):

NY teen gets prison in religious-dispute firebomb

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A Hasidic teenager was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison for the firebomb attack that badly burned a neighbor during a religious dispute in an insular Jewish enclave.

A defense attorney said the sentence was fair but worried about prison life for an 18-year-old who has “never seen TV, never been on the Internet, doesn’t know who Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter are.”

Shaul Spitzer of New Square had been charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to assault as potential jurors gathered for his trial in February. A trial would have brought unwanted attention to New Square, a New York village where nearly every one of the 7,000 residents is a member of the Skver Hasidic sect.

Spitzer admitted that he attacked Aron Rottenberg, a plumber, outside Rottenberg’s home in May. He said he did it because Rottenberg defied New Square’s grand rabbi by worshiping with nursing home residents rather than at New Square’s main synagogue.

Rottenberg, a plumber, claimed in a lawsuit that Spitzer was acting at the direction of the rabbi, David Twersky. The rabbi denied involvement and was not charged. The lawsuit was settled for $2.3 million.

Rottenberg had asked Rockland County Court Judge William Kelly to be lenient with Spitzer, who was also burned, and the judge came down from the 10-year cap he had promised after the plea deal.

Defense attorney Kenneth Gribetz said the sentence was “fair and compassionate.” But he said he fears for Spitzer, who he said will be the rare inmate who has had “no exposure to the outside world.”

“His whole life has been the rabbi and the synagogue and now he’s going to state prison,” Gribetz said. “This is a very severe sentence for a boy from New Square. I hope he can be safeguarded.”

New Square is about 30 miles north of Manhattan. The sect and the village are named for the Ukrainian village of Skver, where sect members were killed during the Holocaust.

Peter King Defends NYPD Monitoring, Plans More Hearings on Islam

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2012 by loonwatch

This should come to no surprise that Peter King will defend the NYPD monitoring. He must be really proud.

Peter King Defends NYPD Monitoring, Plans More Hearings on Islam

by George Zornick

Appearing on WCBS in New York this morning, Representative Peter King offered a strong defense of NYPD’s spying on mosques and Muslim businesses and student groups in several states. Criticism of the recently revealed program has intensified in recent days, but King said he was proud of the police department.

“[Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly and the NYPD should get a medal for what they are doing,” he said. “This is good police work. If you are going after radical Muslims you don’t go to Ben’s Kosher Deli.”

This is perhaps not surprising coming from the man who held highly controversial Capitol Hill hearings into Muslim Americans last year, which many people saw as essentially profiling by public relations; his colleague, Representative Keith Ellison invoked the specter of Joe McCarthy in criticizing King’s efforts and said they served to “vilify” Muslims.

But, alas, King announced last week that he would hold more hearings into domestic radicalization among Muslim Americans in the coming year. “The series of radicalization hearings I convened last March has been very productive,” King said in a statement. “I will definitely continue the hearings in 2012.”

This is a good time to flag a recent study by Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina and member of the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. His comprehensive examination of crime statistics found that terrorism-related incidents by Muslim Americans has declined markedly, and that Muslim-Americans represent “a minuscule threat to public safety.” He wrote:

The limited scale of Muslim-American terrorism in 2011 runs counter to the fears that many Americans shared in the days and months after 9/11, that domestic Muslim American terrorism would escalate. The spike in terrorism cases in 2009 renewed these concerns, as have repeated warnings from U.S. government officials about a possible surge in homegrown Islamic terrorism. The predicted surge has not materialized.

Repeated alerts by government officials maybe issued as a precaution, even when the underlying threat is uncertain. Officials may be concerned about how they would look if an attack did take place and subsequent investigations showed that officials had failed to warn the public. But a byproduct of these alerts is a sense of heightened tension that is out of proportion to the actual number of terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11.

If King calls Kurzman to testify at his hearings I’ll eat my hat, but it’s possible Democrats on the committee could arrange for his appearance. He would provide a substantive counterweight to King’s typically anecdote-driven hysteria. Last week the FBI foiled a plot in which a Moroccan man wanted to bomb the US Capitol—you can bet King will give that episode a prominent role at his hearings.

Someone Called the FBI on NYPD Officers Pretending to Be Muslim Students

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2012 by loonwatch

Someone Called the FBI on NYPD Officers Pretending to Be Muslim Students

When the New York Police Department was doing some spying on Muslim students outside the city (that’s a thing it does, we learned from the Associated Press on Monday), an apartment officers used to spy on Rutgers students got a visit from the FBI on a report that it was a terrorist cell itself. This is the kind of reporting that won the AP a Polk award Monday for its series on the NYPD spying on Muslims. Not only did the department go well outside its jurisdiction to “get a better handle on what was occurring at” Muslim Student Associations, as spokesman Paul Browne told the AP, it did so in a pretty Keystone Kops manner at times:

Police also were interested in the Muslim student group at Rutgers, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 2009, undercover NYPD officers had a safe house in an apartment not far from campus. The operation was blown when the building superintendent stumbled upon the safe house and, thinking it was some sort of a terrorist cell, called the police emerency dispatcher.

The FBI responded and determined that monitoring Rutgers students was one of the operation’s objectives, current and former federal officials said.

Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments or send an email to the author atamartin@theatlantic.com. You can share ideas for stories on the Open Wire.

Anti Muslim Graffiti Scrawled on Kensington Insurance Shop

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2012 by loonwatch
Anti Muslim graffiti insulting Allah scrawled on Kensington insurance shop.
Anti Muslim graffiti insulting Allah scrawled on Kensington insurance shop.

Anti Muslim graffiti insulting Allah scrawled on Kensington insurance shop

By Simone Weichselbaum / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Bangladeshis in Kensington said they are living in fear after Muslim hate graffiti was found on a storefront in the neighborhood’s bustling shopping strip.

The manager of TDS Insurance on Beverly Road near McDonald Avenue, came to work Monday and spotted a nauseating sight:

“It was written on the outside – ‘Allah is s–t,’” said Abu Chowdhury, 51, who immediately called the cops.

“I have no enemies,” he said. “We are not a religious business.”

Although the hateful message was erased hours later, Bangladeshis said the sight left them emotionally scarred.

“It is just shocking,” said Mamnunul Haq, a Bangladeshi community leader. “No one wants to see anything like that.”

“We are a very peaceful people,” Haq added.

Kensington is one of the most diverse areas in the city – home to a Muslim stronghold mainly comprised of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis, living among Mexican families and Orthodox Jews.

Bangladeshis joined their Hasidic neighbors in July during the search for Leiby Kletzky, the 8-year-old boy who went missing in Borough Park and was later found dead.

They also blasted the vandal or vandals who painted a half dozen swastikas around Midwood last month.

“It happened in the Jewish community. And now it is happening in ours,” Haq said.

Hoping to quell the growing anxiety, Councilman Brad Lander (D-Kensington) held a meeting Wednesday night with Bangladeshi, Jewish, and Latino residents discussing ideas about how to prevent future hate crimes in their hood.

Lander wants to put a set of trees and benches in front of TDS Insurance, calling it “Kensington Plaza,” serving as a mixed race meeting spot.

“In the face of hatred, this community is coming together,” Lander said. “When these things happen, you have to stand up.”

simonew@nydailynews.com

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by loonwatch
Shaul_Spitzer_Hasidic
Shaul Spitzer

What if he were Muslim?

Shaul Spitzer, Hasidic Man Admits Burning Neighbor In New York Religious Dispute

NEW CITY, NY, Feb 7 (Reuters) – A Hasidic Jewish man from New York state pleaded guilty to assault on Tuesday for setting a neighbor on fire because he wasn’t praying with the rest of the community, leaving the man badly burned.

Shaul Spitzer, 18, of New Square, New York, admitted to lighting Aron Rottenberg ablaze after learning that he had disobeyed a prayer order by the Grand Rebbe of the Hasidic enclave about 35 miles north of New York City.

He pleaded guilty to assault in a New York court and faces up to 10 years in prison, although Judge William Kelly said he would likely receive a 5-year sentence.

Spitzer, who worked for Grand Rebbe David Twersky, admitted in court that he used a heavy duty propane lighter to set Rottenberg on fire in May 2011.

He lit him on fire when Rottenberg confronted him after Spitzer had stuffed gasoline-soaked shirts into a bag, lit it on fire and threw it onto the porch of Rottenberg’s home, he admitted. The family was sleeping inside, court documents said.

Prosecutor Stephen Moore said Rottenberg spent more than a month in the hospital for severe burns.

Under the plea deal, charges of attempted murder and arson were dismissed. Spitzer could have faced a 25-year prison sentence for those charges. Outside court, Spitzer’s attorney Kenneth Gribetz said his client had been trying to cause mischief, not to kill anyone.

“This is a young boy who has no criminal intent,” he said. “He’s not a criminal … He should be given a chance to get back on the right track.”

Spitzer, who will be sentenced in April, entered his plea on the day jury selection was set to begin in the case. Rottenberg was in court and told the judge he consented to the plea deal.

Court documents said Rottenberg’s family had received several threats and had their property vandalized for not praying in the community’s main synagogue.

Rottenburg has a pending civil lawsuit against Spitzer and Twersky stemming from the incident. Gribetz said in court a settlement in the $2 million range was under discussion. (Editing By Ellen Wulfhorst and Cynthia Johnston

New York Times: Muslims Targeted in Wave of Firebombing

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by loonwatch

All the facts on this are not clear yet, but it is being reported as a bias crime in many reports. If this holds true then it will be another manifestation of the all too real threat to Muslim communities from radical hatemongers.

Four Attacks in Queens With Homemade Firebombs

By ELIZABETH A. HARRIS (NYTimes)

A wave of arson attacks spread across eastern Queens on Sunday night, and the police said the firebombings were being investigated as bias crimes — with Muslims as the targets.

No one was hurt in the four attacks, in which homemade firebombs were apparently used. In three of the four attacks, the police said, Molotov cocktails were made with Starbucks bottles.

The first attack occurred just before 8 p.m. at a bodega at 179-40 Hillside Avenue.

Ten minutes later, another crude firebomb was thrown, this time at a private home at 146-62 107th Avenue, and the house caught fire.

Half an hour after that, an Islamic center at 89-89 Van Wyck Expressway was the target. The last attack occurred at a house at 88-20 170th Street, the police said.

The Islamic center, the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, houses one of the most prominent Shiite mosques in New York. According to its Web site it offers funeral services, counseling and free SAT classes. It lists branches in several cities, including Montreal and Islamabad, Pakistan. Calls to the foundation were not returned Sunday night.

The firebomb, made with a glass Starbucks bottle, was thrown at the door of the center, possibly from a van as it drove it by, the police said. The door was blackened, but the building did not catch fire.

A similar weapon was found at the bodega, the site of the first attack, according to the police. The bomb might have been thrown from inside the store, because the counter sustained some damage, the police said.

It was the second attack, on 107th Avenue, police and fire officials said, that caused the most damage.

Shortly after 8 p.m., someone called 911, saying that a Molotov cocktail had been thrown at their home. The house caught fire, and it took more than 60 firefighters about 40 minutes to bring it under control.

In the fourth attack, two bottles were thrown at the house on 170th Street. A spokesman for the Fire Department said that the person who called 911 said they saw a vehicle drive by as the bottles were hurled toward their home. But the flames quickly fizzled.

New York Muslims Refuse to Attend Mayor Bloomberg’s Breakfast with Bagels

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2011 by loonwatch
The letter said Michael Bloomberg had 'defended the NYPD misconduct'. Photograph: Henny Ray Abrams/Reuters The letter said Michael Bloomberg had ‘defended the NYPD misconduct’. Photograph: Henny Ray Abrams/Reuters

New York Muslims to snub Bloomberg breakfast in surveillance protest

A group of prominent Muslim figures in New York City have said they will boycott an annual meeting on Friday with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in order to protest against police surveillance of their communities.

Bloomberg is scheduled to hold a multi-faith “Bagels with Bloomberg” breakfast with religious leaders from across the city on Friday morning, but the group has written to the mayor’s office outlining their reasons for refusing to attend.

In particular, the group says it is outraged at details that emerged earlier this year of a concerted effort by the New York police department to monitor activities of Muslims in New York. A series of reports by the Associated Press detailed the activities of a unit within the NYPD, called the Demographics Unit, that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, including eavesdropping in businesses and infiltrating mosques.

“According to the investigation, the police department monitored and collected information on New Yorkers at about 250 mosques, schools, and businesses throughout the city, simply because of their religion and not because they exhibited suspicious behavior,” the letter said.

It added: “Mayor Bloomberg, the extent of these civil rights violations is astonishing, yet instead of calling for accountability and the rule of law, you have thus far defended the NYPD’s misconduct. We, on the other hand, believe that such measures threaten the rights of all Americans, and deepen mistrust between our communities and law enforcement.”

The letter was signed by 15 prominent Muslim New Yorkers, including Khaled Lamada, head of the Muslim American Society, Omar Mohammedi, president of the Association of Muslim American Lawyers, Aisha al-Adawiya, founder of Women in Islam, and Iman Al Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid, who president of the Islamic Leadership Council of New York.

Another signatory, Linda Sarsour, the director of the Arab-American Association of New York, told the Guardian that the AP reports had confirmed her worst fears. “This confirmed what we already knew. It gave validity to our concerns that we are being spied upon just because of our religion. That undermines the security of all New Yorkers,” Sarsour said.

Sarsour added that lawsuits against the NYPD were being considered in the wake of the AP investigation, and called for an independent inquiry into the activities of the department when it came to monitoring Muslim communities.

So far, that call has fallen on deaf ears. Senior police figures have denied that they targeted Muslim communities in general, claiming they only followed leads. Bloomberg has also strongly and consistently backed the city’s police department and its tactics.

An investigation by the CIA had looked at its role in helping the NYPD and recently concluded no wrongdoing had taken place.

But Sarsour remained unsatisfied.

“How can someone from the CIA be the one to investigate the CIA? We are asking for an independent investigation,” she said, saying it should be carried out by the Department of Justice or a Congressional committee.

A spokesman for the mayor’s office downplayed the impact of the letter and the boycott, saying that other Muslim leaders were still planning on attending the breakfast gathering. “We have a couple dozen Muslim community leaders who have RSVP-ed that they will be at the breakfast, which is about the same as previous years,” said Stu Loeser.

NYPD officials also weighed into the spat, saying that the AP story had exaggerated its activities. “The NYPD lawfully follows leads in terrorist-related investigations and does not engage in the kind of wholesale spying on communities that was false alleged,” said Paul Browne, an NYPD deputy commissioner.

But the revelations about the Demographics Unit are not the only controversy surrounding NYPD actions around Muslim Americans and terrorism. An NYPD operation last month arrested a suspected “lone wolf” terrorist in the shape of New Yorker Jose Pimentel. NYPD officials hailed the arrest, which occurred after a lengthy undercover operation that saw an NYPD informant supply Pimental with bomb-making equipment, as a major triumph.

However, it later emerged that the FBI had passed on co-operating on the case, because it believed the target was not a viable threat. That has led to accusations that the NYPD “entrapped” Pimental.

Church Group Steps in to Save Muslim Food Pantries

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2011 by loonwatch

I hope the holiday spirit can be with people all year long.

Church Group Steps in to Save Muslim Food Pantries

Lisa Colagrossi

Eyewitness News

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8473734
NEW YORK (WABC) – A pair of Bronx food pantries in jeopardy of closing have gotten a reprieve in the form of a large donation.

The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development has been operating food pantries in Highbridge and Parkchester since 1997, but without $50,000, the organization would have had to shutter the pantries at the end of the month.

But Monday evening, executive director Nurah Ama’tulla received a check for $100,000. She says she is grateful and relieved that thousands of families in the Bronx won’t have to go elsewhere for assistance.

The lifeline came from the Collegiate Church Corporation.

“We will cover the hurdle of the $50,000, and we’re covered through operations of March 31, 2012,” Ama’tulla said. “The first quarter.”

The cash infusion comes just at the right time. The Collegiate Church Corporation issued a statement, saying: “The MWIRD has faithfully its constituency for more than a decade. As the only halal food pantry in the city, their services are vital. The Collegiate Church is honored to extend them a substantial grant so that their food pantry can remain open.”

The pantries feed 2,500 people per week. In addition to paying for heat and other utilities, the organization’s four employees will get paid for the first time since Memorial Day.

Islamofascist Cab Drivers Launch Shariah Double-Parking Attack

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2011 by loonwatch

If Muslims are double parking, beware!

Islamofascist Cab Drivers Launch Shariah Double-Parking Attack

In today’s Muslim threat news: Some New York cabbies are Muslims! And they pray, to their Muslim god! And when they do, they illegally double-part their taxicabs on the street, because Muslims “obey religious laws over parking rules.”

That salacious headline comes via DNAInfo, a normally reliable local New York news site. Apparently, a mosque on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is popular with cab drivers. During prayers, they “double- and triple-park outside the house of prayer, forcing northbound traffic…to veer into the oncoming traffic lane.” The mosque’s neighbors—including Donald Trump, who owns four nearby towers—don’t like that, so naturally they complain to the police about it: “311 records show at least nine complaints this year about illegal parking at that intersection.”

Nine complaints! In just one year? It’s a full-blown scandal.

If you live in New York, anywhere, you spend an average of 15 minutes per day mad about some asshole double-parking somewhere. The fact that some Muslim cab drivers double-park to pray doesn’t mean they “flout the rules of the road in order to observe the rules of their religion.” It means they flout the rules of the road because, like everyone else who drives an automobile in Manhattan, they are asshole drivers.

[Image via AP]

Muslim and Jewish Volunteers Feed the Hungry by Cooking 350 Meals Sunday

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by loonwatch

Muslim and Jewish Volunteers Feed the Hungry by Cooking 350 Meals Sunday

By Jennifer Bradshaw

Project co-sponsored by they Muslims Against Hunger Project, Rutgers University Shalom-Salaam, and the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

On Sunday morning, the kitchen of the Muslim Foundation Inc. Mosque in Somerset was filled with good smells and friendly conversation as a group of volunteers prepared 350 meals for homeless folks in New York and New Jersey.

The event was part of a larger “Weekend of Twinning,” held from Nov. 18 – 20.

The purpose of the weekend is to facilitate events between Muslim and Jewish people to promote greater understanding and community between the two, according to Walter Ruby of the New York-based Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

According to a release from Muslims Against Hunger, more than 125 events are being held around the world as part of the Weekend of Twinning.

“Each Jew and each Muslim is obligated to help those most in need,” Ruby said.

Adult and student volunteers, as well as a group from Rutgers University prepared tandoori chicken, rice pilaf, salad, vegetables and fruit. A kosher and vegetarian option of chickpea salad was also prepared, as well as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Zamir Hassan, founder of the Muslims Against Hunger Project said about 100 meals would be taken to a shelter in Basking Ridge, while another 150 would be taken to Manhattan, where they would be handed out to homeless on the street.

Ruby said the group planned to visit 53rd St. and Lexington Ave. in New York, a spot where many homeless people congregate.

An Orthodox Jewish outreach group called “Masbiah” would be meeting them in New York to assist in handing out the meals, he said.

Additionally, the volunteers held an interfaith luncheon and prayer service following the morning preparation.

Marshal Anjum, 26, of Shalom-Salaam, a Muslim and Jewish student organization at Rutgers University said the group is working to build bridges between the Jewish and Muslim communities.

“We thought community service was a great way to go about it,” she said.

Creeping Halakha in Brooklyn? Women Told to Sit in the Back of the Bus

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2011 by loonwatch

If this were Muslims you could be sure that there would be a boycott of this bus line, as well as cries about Creeping Sharia’ and the threat of Islamization.

Women ride in back on sex-segregated Brooklyn bus line

(New York World)

On the morning of October 12, Melissa Franchy boarded the B110 bus in Brooklyn and sat down near the front. For a few minutes she was left in silence, although the other passengers gave her a noticeably wide berth. But as the bus began to fill up, the men told her that she had to get up. Move to the back, they insisted.

They were Orthodox Jews with full beards, sidecurls and long black coats, who told her that she was riding a “private bus” and a “Jewish bus.” When she asked why she had to move, a man scolded her.

“If God makes a rule, you don’t ask ‘Why make the rule?’” he told Franchy, who rode the bus at the invitation of a New York World reporter. She then moved to the back where the other women were sitting. The driver did not intervene in the incident.

The B110 bus travels between Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn. It is open to the public, and has a route number and tall blue bus stop signs like any other city bus. But the B110 operates according to its own distinct rules. The bus line is run by a private company and serves the Hasidic communities of the two neighborhoods. To avoid physical contact between members of opposite sexes that is prohibited by Hasidic tradition, men sit in the front of the bus and women sit in the back.

The arrangement that the B110 operates under can only be described as unorthodox. It operates as a franchise, in which a private company, Private Transportation Corporation, pays the city for the right to provide a public service. Passengers pay their $2.50 fare not by MetroCard, but in dollar bills and coins. The city’s Franchise and Concession Review Committee defines a franchise on its website as “the right to occupy or to use the City’s inalienable property, such as streets or parks, for a public service, e.g., transportation.”

The agreement goes back to at least 1973, and last year the franchise paid the city $22,814 to operate the route, according to the New York City Department of Transportation. According to the news site Vos Iz Neias?, which serves the Orthodox Jewish community in New York City and elsewhere, the bus company has a board of consulting rabbis, which decreed that male passengers should ride in the front of the bus and female passengers in the back.

City, state and federal law all proscribe discrimination based on gender in public accommodations. “Discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations in New York City is against the law,” said Betsy Herzog, a spokeswoman for the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which investigates and prosecutes alleged violations of anti-discrimination law.

The Department of Transportation, which issues the franchise, confirms that it understands the B110 to be subject to anti-discrimination laws. “This is a private company, but it is a public service,” said Seth Solomonow, a spokesman for the DOT. “The company has to comply with all applicable laws.”

Following the New York World’s inquiry, Solomonow said DOT would contact Private Transportation Corporation. “We are reaching out to the company about this alleged incident to ask for its response, with the expectation that it will take steps to prevent the occurrence of incidents of this nature,” he said.

The B110 bus shares stops with MTA busesMelissa Franchy/Special to the New York World

Herzog said the Human Rights Commission would not investigate the B110 unless someone filed a complaint. But its website states that “anyone who provides goods and services to the general public is considered a public accommodation” and that it illegal for public accommodations to “set different terms for obtaining those goods or services” to different groups.

Ross Sandler, a professor at New York Law School and editor of the CityLaw newsletter, said that anti-discrimination laws apply to bus franchises, but that religious groups are sometimes granted exceptions. “Do all these laws apply? Yes, they apply to buses that are franchises,” Sandler said. “The question is whether there is an exception for this particular bus line.”

The Transportation Department said that the B110 had not been granted any exceptions to anti-discrimination laws.

Calls to the offices of Private Transportation Corporation also went unreturned. We tried calling the home of Jacob Marmurstein, the company’s president, but were told he was unavailable.

The New York World will be keeping a close eye on the practices aboard the B110 bus and the city’s response – and we will let you know when we hear more.

Carter: Maplewood woman could be first American Muslim to wear hijab while competing at Olympics

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by loonwatch

Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first practicing Muslim to represent the U.S. in women's fencing. She's ranked second in the U.S. and 11th in the world. Ibtihaj stands out because she wears her hijab headscarf that is worn by Muslim women.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first practicing Muslim to represent the U.S. in women’s fencing. She’s ranked second in the U.S. and 11th in the world. Ibtihaj stands out because she wears her hijab headscarf that is worn by Muslim women.

Carter: Maplewood woman could be first American Muslim to wear hijab while competing at OlympicsBy 

Barry Carter/The Star-Ledger 

Ibtihaj Muhammad jogs lightly across the second floor gym at the Manhattan Fencing Center in New York. She’s warming up, eager to get some work in.

Ready! Fence!

Fencers are already on the strip, a narrow fighting lane, and they’re going at it, the air filled with little razor-like hisses and whispers. Many are Olympic hopefuls, like her, preparing for the World Championships Saturday in Italy. The competition is another chance for Muhammad to earn qualifying points in her quest to make the 2012 London Olympics in July.

“I don’t think I ever wanted anything so much,” said Muhammad, 25, of Maplewood. “I just want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make this Olympics.”

When it’s her turn to spar, she slips the fencing mask over her hijab, the headscarf Muslim women wear. In a room full of fencers, it’s the one thing that makes her stand out. If she makes the Olympics, she’ll stand out even more. Fencing officials believe Muhammad is likely to be the first American Muslim woman wearing a hijab to compete at the games. The United States Olympic Committee doesn’t track athletes by religion, but the demographic is something Muhammad thinks about, knowing what an accomplishment it would be since few Muslim women compete in sports.
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1
“I didn’t have female Muslim role models to look up to in the athletic world,” she said. “It’s really important for people to know my story. I think it’s something I have to do, because I want Muslim female youth to believe they can do something like this.”

Muhammad is ranked number two in the United States and 13th in the world in women’s sabre, a fencing style in which strikes are made above the waist with any part of the weapon. Locally, she represents the Peter Westbrook Foundation in New York City, training at the Fencers Club on West 28th Street, where she is coached by Akhnaten Spencer-El, a 2000 Olympic fencer. Under him, she’s a tactical, cerebral fighter who caught the fencing world off guard in 2009.

She won the U.S. national title that year, cracking the top 16 world rankings. Last year, she won a bronze medal at the Pan American Championships and a coveted spot on the U.S. women’s national team.

“She’s still young in the game and she’s only going to get better,” Spencer-El said.

Back to the strip. She goes against a member of the U.S. men’s national team, then her teammate, Dagmara Wozniak of Avenel. You can hear the constant ping of saber blades colliding. Everyone has cat-like footwork that is lickety-split quick, calculating and aggressive. They duel back and forth trying to outsmart each other, snapping their weapons at the wrist to score. The long electrical wires attached to the edge of their fencing jackets register hits. All of them look like puppets dancing on a string, lunging toward each other and their their shot at gold.

Ibtihaj Muhammad, left, and Damara Wozniak, of Avenel, face off during practice match in New York.Ibtihaj Muhammad, left, and Damara Wozniak, of Avenel, face off during practice match in New York.

Getting to Italy isn’t easy. Each country is allowed two spots for women’s sabre and Muhammad and her teammates are the top four fencers in the U.S. The best of them is two-time Olympian Mariel Zagunis of Oregon, and she’s number one in the world.

Muhammad is unfazed. She trains daily, except for Sunday, running in the morning before conditioning at a women’s gym. In the evening, she’s in New York City fencing for four hours.

“I just keep going,” she said. “I don’t want to get to a competition and lose a bout, because I didn’t work out that extra hour.”

You can see she’s super-competitive, hating to lose, constantly critiquing herself. She’s all business for this once in lifetime shot, but Muhammad does pause for what’s important.

The third of five siblings in an athletic family, Muhammad finds strength in her faith. In August, she stayed focused through Ramadan, the annual Islamic month of fasting during the day. But Muhammad wants no sympathy, saying her sacrifices are not unlike anybody else’s. She kept hyrdrated, waking up every 90 minutes at night to eat and drink. If she makes the team, Muhammad will be used to the regimen since Ramadan next year falls during the Olympic competition.

It doesn’t matter at this point. Muhammad has come a long way in a career that started when she was a high school freshman. She stumbled on the sport driving past Columbia High School with her mother, who could see the team practicing through the large cafeteria windows. Inayah Muhammad didn’t know what they were doing but thought her daughter should try it because the uniform would cover her body and that was suitable to Islam’s tenet of modesty for women.

“I had know idea it (fencing) would take us this far,’’ said her mom, a Newark schoolteacher. “She’s so in love with the sport. I don’t think she really understands how good she is.’’

Muhummad was an epee fencer with Columbia until her former coach, Frank Mustilli, saw she was a better fit for sabre’s combative vein. At practice one day, Mustilli said his mild mannered athlete got upset after she got hit hard and lashed out.

“She showed me a little bit of fire. She screamed and attacked,’’ said Mustilli, head of the New Jersey Fencing Alliance.

At Columbia, Muhammad also played softball and volleyball but was captain of two state championship fencing teams before going to Duke University. She became a three-time NCAA All-American, earning dual degrees in International Relations and African-American studies with a minor in Arabic.

Ibtihaj Muhammad is seen during a September practice in New York.Ibtihaj Muhammad is seen during a September practice in New York.

After graduation in 2007, her father, Shamsiddin Muhammad, said his daughter’s passion for fencing did not wane. The family supports her financially and she chipped in what she could last year as a substitute teacher at Shabazz High School in Newark and fencing coach at Columbia.

“I know this is her dream and inspiration,’’ said her dad, a retired Newark cop. “We believe that what is written is going to happen.’’

That belief helps her deal with distractions on this journey. At times she’s wondered if her race or religion played a role in a judge scoring unfairly. When traveling, she has been treated as a foreigner who can’t speak English, and worse, she feels the stares that say terrorist.

In Belgium this year, security officials told her to leave the airport unless she removed her hijab. Muhammad would not. Her mother interceded and there was a compromise to have her head patted down. Muhammad said it’s frustrating making others comfortable, but she’s not going to let “closeted views” derail her purpose.

“If God wants me to succeed, no one can take it from me,’’ she said. “That’s the way I approach it and I think that’s what keeps me sane and grounded in this sport.’’

Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by loonwatch

(Via Islamophobia-Watch.com)

Altercation at New York amusement park after Muslim women banned from rides for wearing headscarves

A New York amusement park was temporarily shut down Tuesday after a large-scale altercation erupted between Muslim patrons and park rangers over a disagreement on headgear rules.

Muslim women in a tour group at Rye Playland in Westchester County were reportedly denied access to several rides because they were wearing hijabs – their traditional headscarves, MyFoxNY reports.

“Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern,” said Deputy Parks Commissioner Peter Tartaglia. “This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group.”

The altercation began when park officials offered refunds and members of the Muslim group got in a scuffle, Tartaglia told The Journal News. Two park rangers were injured when they jumped in to break it up, he said, and were taken to local hospitals.

Dozens of police vehicles from nine agencies then rushed to the park, where officers arrested 15 people – mostly for disorderly conduct, authorities said. The disturbance involved around 30 to 40 people.

All other visitors were not allowed into the park between 4 and 6 p.m. ET, with exit ramps from I-95 closed as well.

The tour group – the Muslim American Society of New York – was at the park to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, an Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, MyFoxNY reports.

“Everybody got mad, everybody got upset,” Amr Khater, a Brooklyn resident, told The Journal News. “It’s our holiday. Why would you do this to us?” Khater said park rangers notified him of the headgear rules upon arrival.

Fox News, 30 August 2011

The Journal News reports: “Lola Ali, 16, of Astoria said she witnessed a group of girls and women wearing hijabs go to park security to confront them about the headgear issue. She said the women were upset and yelling. She said the security officers started pushing them away and the girls stood their ground, at which point the security officers grabbed them, pushed them to the ground and handcuffed them. Men within the park saw this and tried to intervene, Ali said, and the situation went downhill from there. ‘They were beating down the girls, then they started beating down the guys,’ she said of the security officers.”

With CIA help, NYPD built secret effort to monitor mosques, daily life of Muslim neighborhoods

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on August 29, 2011 by loonwatch

NYPD

With CIA help, NYPD built secret effort to monitor mosques, daily life of Muslim neighborhoods

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the New York Police Department has become one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies, targeting ethnic communities in ways that would run afoul of civil liberties rules if practiced by the federal government, an Associated Press investigation has found.

The operations have benefited from unprecedented help from the CIA, a partnership that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying.

The department has dispatched undercover officers, known as “rakers,” into minority neighborhoods as part of a human mapping program, according to officials directly involved in the program. They’ve monitored daily life in bookstores, bars, cafes and nightclubs. Police have also used informants, known as “mosque crawlers,” to monitor sermons, even when there’s no evidence of wrongdoing.

Neither the city council, which finances the department, nor the federal government, which has given NYPD more than $1.6 billion since 9/11, is told exactly what’s going on.

Many of these operations were built with help from the CIA, which is prohibited from spying on Americans but was instrumental in transforming the NYPD’s intelligence unit.

A veteran CIA officer, while still on the agency’s payroll, was the architect of the NYPD’s intelligence programs. The CIA trained a police detective at the Farm, the agency’s spy school in Virginia, then returned him to New York, where he put his new espionage skills to work inside the United States.

And just last month, the CIA sent a senior officer to work as a clandestine operative inside police headquarters.

The NYPD denied that it trolls ethnic neighborhoods and said it only follows leads. Police operations have disrupted terrorist plots and put several would-be killers in prison.

“The New York Police Department is doing everything it can to make sure there’s not another 9/11 here and that more innocent New Yorkers are not killed by terrorists,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. “And we have nothing to apologize for in that regard.” AP’s investigation is based on documents and interviews with more than 40 current and former New York Police Department and federal officials. Many were directly involved in planning and carrying out these secret operations for the department. Though most said the tactics were appropriate and made the city safer, many insisted on anonymity, because they were not authorized to speak with reporters about security matters.

In response to the story, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a leading Muslim civil rights organization, called on the Justice Department to investigate. The Justice Department said Wednesday night it would review the request.

“This is potentially illegal what they’re doing,” said Gadeir Abbas, a staff attorney with the organization.

After the terrorist attacks, New York hired retired CIA official David Cohen to transform its intelligence division.

Among Cohen’s earliest moves at the NYPD was asking for help from his old CIA colleagues. He needed someone who had access to the latest intelligence so the NYPD wouldn’t have to rely on the FBI to dole out information.

CIA Director George Tenet dispatched Larry Sanchez, a respected CIA veteran, to New York while Sanchez was still on the CIA payroll, three former intelligence officials said. Sanchez directed and mentored officers, schooling them in the art of gathering information, officials said.

There had never been an arrangement like it, and some senior CIA officials soon began questioning whether Tenet was allowing Sanchez to operate on both sides of the wall that’s supposed to keep the CIA out of the domestic intelligence business.

Read the rest…

Huckabee Generates Cash With 9/11 ‘History’ Cartoon

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Mike HuckabeeMike Huckabee

Huckabee Generates Cash With 9/11 ‘History’ Cartoon

(see video here: http://www.wpix.com/videobeta/57ae18bd-4a45-4c58-9923-027f19b9a111/News/9-11-Cartoon-Controversy )
By MARY MURPHYpix11.com

7:46 p.m. EDT, August 3, 2011

NEW YORK (PIX11)— Former presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, is cashing in on the upcoming, 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks by marketing an educational “cartoon” about the events that sent the United States back to war.

“You can go to Learn Our History.com,” Huckabee told viewers this week on Pat Robertson‘s “700 Club” cable show. The one-timeArkansas governor is producing a series of DVD’s, and he told the TV audience, “The first one’s $9.95, and then it goes to $11.95.”

“Someone to profit off the worst day in American history is unheard of,” fumed retired, FDNY fire chief, Jim Riches, who lost his firefighter son, Jim Jr., on 9/11.

“Three thousand Americans were murdered, and it’s for his personal gain. I think it’s blood money,” Riches told PIX 11.

A preview of Huckabee’s cartoon for the “Time Cycle Academy” shows a plane heading toward the Twin Towers on a clear day, with someone shouting below “No!” before the jet crashes into the first tower. The cartoon also shows a “Wanted” poster for Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden — long before he was fatally shot by U.S. Navy Seals this past May — portraying an animated Bin Laden in the mountains of Afghanistan, as he proclaims, “The time for jihad is upon us, death to the Americans!”

When PIX 11 traveled to the Tribute Center right next to Ground Zero on Wednesday, a Utah tourist, Heather Robertson, said this about Huckabee’s history lesson: “I don’t know if I like it in cartoon form.” Robertson continued, “I think it diminishes what took place on 9/11.”

A laborer named Frankie, who was working in a hard-hat re-building World Trade Center Tower 4, said this about Huckabee’s efforts, “Then do it for free. He’s about making money. He ain’t about teaching anybody anything. If he’s doing not-for-profit, then that’s a different story. But I’m sure he’s making money on it.”

David Yi, a Korean immigrant who lives in New Jersey, did not think the cartoon was such a bad idea for kids. “We have to teach them freedom to protect ourselves,” he told PIX 11.

Huckabee’s representatives have not been responding to requests for comment.

Jim Riches had plenty more to say, however. “I think for politicians trying to teach our kids, we’re in trouble. Leave it to the teachers, the educators.”

Riches also noted the recently-passed Zadroga Law to help sick, 9/11 “First Responders” leaves certain people out. “The people who have cancer aren’t even going to be covered,” Riches told PIX 11. “And I think that would be another good place to put the money, instead of putting it in his pocket.”

See Video:

Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 2, 2011 by loonwatch

Olympic hopeful Ibtihaj Muhammad will compete this weekend.

Fencer With Headscarf Is a Cut Above the Rest

By AIMEE BERG

When Ibtihaj Muhammad fastens her headscarf, or hijab, around her chin, one of its purposes is to deflect unwanted attention.

But when she wears a hijab in a sporting arena, it often has the opposite effect.

The New Jersey native is currently ranked 11th in the world in women’s sabre, a discipline of fencing. Only one American ranks higher: Mariel Zagunis, the two-time Olympic and world champion.

Both women will compete this weekend at a World Cup fencing event at the New York Athletic Club to earn points toward qualifying for the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic Committee do not track athletes’ religion, but if Muhammad makes the Olympic team, she would likely be the first practicing Muslim woman to represent the U.S. at the Games.

When she competes, photographers often zoom in on the name Muhammad on the back of her fencing jacket. Her mother, Denise, recently saw such a photo and said, “I realized: my God, she’s representing all of us.

Utica: In This Town, Open Arms for a Mosque

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by loonwatch

In This Town, Open Arms for a Mosque

By PETER APPLEBOME

In the boiling caldron of American outrage, here’s one to throw in the pot.

In this faded industrial town on the Erie Canal, the old United Methodist church downtown is being turned into a mosque, the old roof topped with minarets, the crescent moon and star of Islam on new white stucco replacing the familiar red-brick facade. Like the immigrants and refugees making up an ever-increasing share of the local population and the 42 languages spoken in the local schools, it is one more sign of how much the familiar world here is fading into the past.

Somehow, though, people here have not been given the current script. Instead, while mosques and Islamic community centers have been contested from near ground zero and Staten Island to Murfreesboro, Tenn., Temecula, Calif., and Sheboygan, Wis., Utica is a place where the dog hasn’t barked.

Instead, the mosque has been welcomed by, among others, former church members grateful that the old building will be saved. Some 200 people showed up this month for a tour by the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.

Utica is hardly some post-racial nirvana, and it probably helps that the Muslim community is largely Bosnian, not Arab. But if we had today’s stories told by Frank Capra rather than by talk radio, there are more than a few that could be told in this town, which is being revived by immigrants and is embracing difference not in the didactic style of do-gooder moralizing but as a continuation of what Utica has always been.

“Where would we be today if no one welcomed the Italians, like my father, the Irish, the Polish, who became the backbone of this community,” said Mayor David R. Roefaro, who owns a funeral home. “When I ran for office, my slogan was ‘We’re in this together,’ because I believe it.”

Like most of upstate New York, Utica has seen better days. The population, more than 100,000 for much of the past century, is now around 60,000. Most of the old textile and manufacturing jobs are gone. That said, a flood of immigrants and resettled refugees, Bosnians, Burmese, Somalis, Vietnamese, Iraqis and many others, who now make up about a quarter of the population, have almost stopped the population decline. The Bosnians, in particular, have refurbished much of the housing, and Utica feels like a place with a pulse and maybe even a future.

“I’ve been here for eight years, and to watch the transformation, new stores, new restaurants, has been amazing,” said Peter D. Vogelaar, executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees. He said an estimated 600 houses had been purchased by refugees, helping to prop up the housing market. “Utica is a model for a small community in terms of integrating and acculturating emerging populations.”

So while some other communities grapple with English-only movements, Utica’s City Hall does its best to provide information in all the languages its residents speak while they learn English. The city and the Muslim community together came up with a plan to save the old church building, its basement underwater, which would have cost the city $1 million to demolish.

Would the mosque construction have been as placid if it began now or if the congregation came from somewhere else or looked Middle Eastern rather than European? Maybe not. But the imam, Ahmedin Mehmedovic, said he took pains to be sensitive to the community, making sure to save and return all the religious artifacts to the church members, and he wasn’t surprised his congregation was treated well in return.

“I think the main point is to respect each other,” he said. “So if you respect me as a Muslim and as a good man, I’ll respect you, too. I’ll try to do what’s best for you. You’ll try to do what’s best for me. In Utica, there is a big harmony between different religions and different congregations.”

Not all is harmony. The Republican candidate for Congress, Richard Hanna, expressed support last week for the project in Lower Manhattan, only to have the Democratic incumbent, Michael Arcuri, come out against it. On Monday, Mr. Hanna changed course, calling the project “an affront to the victims of 9/11.”

Still, it’s not a fight people seem to want at home. Maybe if you came here to experience freedom, religious and otherwise, you appreciate it more than the guardians of morality insistent on leaving no hot button untouched, no election-year skirmish in the culture wars worth walking away from.

Boy’s Remains Found in Refrigerator; New York Man in Custody

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by loonwatch

If this happened in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, rest assured the Islamophobes would be blaming Islam.

Boy’s remains found in refrigerator; New York man in custody

(LA Times)

NEW YORK—A young Brooklyn boy who vanished while walking home from a day camp in one of the safest parts of the city was killed and dismembered by a stranger who he had turned to for help after getting lost, police said Wednesday.

An intense search for the missing 8-year-old, Leiby Kletzky, ended early Wednesday morning with the gruesome discovery of pieces of his dismembered body inside the home of a man who had been seen with the child around the time he disappeared, police said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the 35-year-old suspect, Levi Aron, made statements implicating himself in the boy’s death.

Photos: Missing boy found dead

Investigators tracked Aron with the help of surveillance video that showed him being approached by the lost boy.

When detectives arrived at the man’s home, they asked him where the boy was and he nodded toward the kitchen, Kelly said.

Detectives saw blood on the freezer door and they opened it to discover bloody knives, a cutting board and feet inside, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Additional body parts were found inside a red suitcase that had been tossed into a trash bin in another Brooklyn neighborhood.

Police and volunteers had been looking since late Monday afternoon for Leiby, who disappeared while on his way to meet his mother in the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The break in the case came when investigators focused on a grainy surveillance video that showed the boy, wearing his backpack, walking down the street, while a man walked nearby.

Detectives noticed the man on the video going into a nearby dentist’s office, Browne said. The dentist, located later in New Jersey, said he remembered someone coming by to pay a bill for a patient, and police were able to identify Aron using records from the office. When they went to his home, they made the gruesome discovery.

Police said Aron lives alone in the apartment, in a building shared with his parents. He once had a summons for urinating in public but otherwise did not have a criminal record, Kelly said.

Outside the family’s apartment building Wednesday morning, men and women from the community clustered in separate groups. Many of the mothers gathered there said the streets are safe enough for a child Leiby’s age to walk home alone.

“This is a no-crime area,” said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes the area. He said the boy was the only son of the Kletzky family. The couple has four daughters, and the husband works as a driver for a private car service.

“Everybody is absolutely horrified,” he said. “Everyone is in total shock, beyond belief, beyond comprehension … to suddenly disappear and then the details … and the fact someone in the extended community … it’s awful,” he said.

He said the parents did not know Aron, who lived about a mile away from the boy.

At about 6:45 a.m., an NYPD crime unit carted away the trash bin where some of the body parts had been found and put it in a truck, and police officers walked in a line looking for evidence under cars and on sidewalks.

The medical examiner’s office will determine a cause of death and positive identification.

Leiby was one of the neighborhood’s many Hasidic Jews, an ultra-Orthodox people who live in tight-knit, somewhat insular communities and abide by strict religious rules that require men to wear dark clothing that includes a long coat and a fedora-type hat. Men often have long beards and ear locks.

Most of the 165,000 members in the New York City the area live in neighborhoods in Brooklyn and are part of three different sects. Hasidism traces its roots to 18th-century Eastern Europe.

A $100,000 reward had been offered, Hikind said the outpouring of support has been tremendous with people from all over the state volunteering their time to scour the neighborhood and hand out flyers.

Adel Erps, who lives two blocks from the family, said she was very upset because the state of the body means it will be more difficult to do a proper burial. Like other neighborhood residents congregating near the boy’s home Wednesday, she expressed shock that the suspect was Jewish.

“He’s a sick person obviously, but it hurts so much more,” she said.

Simchon Shwartz Charged with Felony Hate Crime after Attacking ‘f—ing Arabs’ Living Next Door

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2011 by loonwatch

A Hasidic man, Simchon Shwartz shouted racist epithets and violently assaulted his neighbor, calling them “F—ing Arabs,” “F—ing Terrorists.”

“F—ing Arabs! F—ing terrorists!” Schwartz screamed when he grabbed his neighbor, Selda Turan, 27. He shoved the woman against her car and poured beer on her head, a police source said.

This disgusting assault will most likely not be covered much by the media, we will hear deafening silence from Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, or silly equivocation along the lines of, “but…no..he was drunk,” etc.

Imagine for a second if a Muslim had done this? We all know that this would be immortalized as a terrorist attack and Islam would be blamed for the attack. (hat tip:Peak of Elephants)

Brooklyn Hasid charged with felony hate crime after attacking ‘f—ing Arabs’ living next door

BY Rocco ParascandolaKerry Burke and Bill Hutchinson
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

A boozy Brooklyn man was hit with hate crime charges Sunday for pouring beer on a newlywed neighbor, calling her an “Arab terrorist” and pummeling her husband, police sources said.

Following the seemingly unprovoked attack Saturday night in Mill BasinSimchon Schwartz, 46, hid in a local synagogue and tried to fight off cops when they came to arrest him, sources said.

The Hasid even kicked out a window of a police cruiser as he sat inside, whining that “the cuffs are too tight,” a source said.

“F—ing Arabs! F—ing terrorists!” Schwartz screamed when he grabbed his neighbor, Selda Turan, 27. He shoved the woman against her car and poured beer on her head, a police source said.

Turan’s husband of 13 months, Mustafa Turan, rushed out of their house to protect his wife, but Schwartz punched him in the face, the source said.

Neighbors said the Turans moved into the heavily Jewish neighborhood about a month ago. They said the victims were from Turkey; it wasn’t clear if they were Muslim.

Schwartz was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of felony assault and felony criminal mischief, both as hate crimes. He was also charged with resisting arrest, obstructing cops, menacing and harassment. He could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

“They arrested the wrong person,” Schwartz’s attorney, Lance Lazzaro, said Monday night.

He said his client was attacked by Mustafa Turan, 32, after Selda Turan complained about Schwartz’s children being noisy. He said Mustafa Turan called Schwartz a “dirty Jew” and hit him.

Cops said they found no physical evidence supporting Schwartz’s counterclaim, while Mustafa Turan needed three stitches to close a gash on his nose. The ordeal erupted at 7 p.m. Saturday when Schwartz began harassing Selda Turan on their E. 70th St. block, a criminal complaint charges. Schwartz opened a can of beer and poured it on Selda Turan, grabbed her by the the arm, pushed her into the side of her car and called her an “Arab terrorist,” the complaint said.

Selda Turan was left with scratches and bruises. Schwartz was released without bail.

A judge rejected a prosecution request to hold Schwartz on $60,000 bail, but granted the Turans an order of protection barring him from contacting them.

The Turkish couple live in a townhouse that shares a common wall with Schwartz’s home.

Cops said that following the fisticuffs, Schwartz scratched the Turans’ car with a key.

Once Schwartz, a car dealer, bolted from the scene, the Turans called 911. Schwartz’s son led cops to a Chabad House on nearby E. 69th St., where they found the suspect. Cops smelled alcohol on his breath, a source said.

Schwartz struggled with cops as they dragged him out of the synagogue in handcuffs. They drove him to his house, where his neighbors identified him as the culprit. As Schwartz threw a tantrum in the police car, his wife made a veiled threat to the victims, sources said.

“This is a majority Jewish neighborhood. We’re going to get you back,” Esther Schwartz told the Turans, the sources said.

While Schwartz was in jail over the weekend, his wife circulated a petition demanding the Turans’ landlord evict them, neighbors said. About 20 neighbors signed it, but the Turans’ landlords, Rusden and Saadet Dolan, refused.

“That’s their opinion,” Rusden Dolan told the Daily News.

With Amir Khan and Oren Yaniv

rparascandola@nydailynews.com


Religious feud leads to attempted murder charges

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2011 by loonwatch

Imagine if a young Muslim teenager got into a religious feud and attempted to murder someone. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer would not stop talking about it and would follow the story down to the very last bit.

Religious feud leads to attempted murder charges

http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/static/flash/embeddedPlayer/swf/otvEmLoader.swf?version=&station=wabc&section=&mediaId=8147216&cdnRoot=http://cdn.abclocal.go.com&webRoot=http://abclocal.go.com&configPath=/util/&site=

Eyewitness News

NEW CITY, New York (WABC) – A teenager is under arrest in an ongoing religious feud in a small, Hasidic village.

It’s become so bad, police say attempted murder charges are now involved.

This latest incident happening in New Square.

Yesterday police arrested 18-year-old Shaul Spitzer on charges of attempted murderarson and first degree assault. Cops say he tried to set the Rottenberg family home on fire and it’s a location police are very familiar with.

There is a few instances of broken windows, broken windows in the vehicles owned by Rottenberg,” said Chief Peter Brower, Ramapo Police Department.

Investigator say early Sunday morning Aron Rottenberg saw Spitzer on his surveillance cameras as the teen threw a rag soaked with flammable liquid onto the rear porch at his Truman Avenue home. The 43-year-old confronted the teenager and somehow both men caught fire.

Rottenberg suffered third degree burns to 50-percent of his body. Spitzer is also hospitalized with burns to his hands and arm.

No one answered the door at Spitzer’s new square home today.

Police and some residents say the attack centers on a simmering feud between the community’s grand rabbi and a group of men, including Rottenberg who worship at a nearby senior center and not at the main synagogue.

(Copyright ©2011 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)