Local residents organize walk for solidarity to counter anti-Muslim bias

January 15, 2016 Meaghan McGoldrick
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Just one month after Bay Ridge’s Unity Task Force – an interdenominational group composed of religious and civic leaders that was first formed in 2000 – pledged to take a stand against perceived anti-Muslim backlash, residents in the neighborhood have taken a similar stand.

A group of Bay Ridge residents has organized a walk for solidarity – set to take place on Monday, January 18 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) – in hopes of curbing anti-Muslim rhetoric and strengthening ties between residents of all denominations and faiths.

“As angry rhetoric and fear directed toward Muslims ramped up nationally and locally in late 2015, awareness was very high in Bay Ridge which has the largest Arab community in New York City and a significant Muslim population,” wrote organizers in a press release.

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The spirit of the walk, they said, will mirror the spirit of the neighborhood itself.

“Bay Ridge is a neighborhood that pulls together to support neighbors in need – house fires, illness, and personal crises,” organizers said. “Ridgeites ‘show up’ to help. In keeping with that tradition, the group decided to organize a peaceful show of support for Muslim community members.”

The walk will kick off at 1 p.m. at the corner of 86th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway – the very spot where, on Wednesday, December 9, a 21-year-old Muslim woman was kicked and called trash while waiting for the bus. The event will end with a family-friendly reflection at the Salam Arabic Lutheran Church (414 80th Street).

The post-walk gathering will feature entertainment and activities for the kids and food for all.

“It will be an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other better and for some lasting friendships to get their start,” said organizers, encouraging any and all who are interested in participating to join in on the day of peace.

For more information or to RSVP, contact [email protected].

Further details can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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