'Ride-along' held to show support for Muslim woman verbally attacked on MTA bus

Lucy Yang Image
Monday, July 16, 2018
'Ride-along' held to show support for Muslim woman verbally attacked on MTA bus
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Lucy Yang has more on the ride-along in Bay Ridge.

BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- There was a show of solidarity Sunday through a ride-along on an MTA bus.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams led the interfaith ride in response to a viral video showing a Muslim woman being verbally attacked on the S53 bus from Bay Ridge to Staten Island.

The rider, who identifies herself as Ashley, yelled at a Muslim passenger who was wearing a hijab.

"I feel for her, and if she sees this, I want her to know we will stand for her always and be there for her and others who face racism and hatred in our city," said rider Debbie Almontaser.

In the show of solidarity, officials and advocates for Islamic relations rode the same bus route in order to demonstrate that all have the right to religious freedom without persecution.

"What happened on that bus cannot happen in a city as diverse as Brooklyn, New York and Staten Island," said Borough President Eric Adams.

The S53 bus goes right past the Statue of Liberty, but it appears that symbol of freedom got lost in the tirade.

"We know more than 70 percent of harassment and hate crime victims do not report incidents, so I am grateful video shed light on daily reality of so many New Yorkers," said Albert Fox Cahn of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

According to the MTA, the driver reported the incident immediately.

By the time police arrived, Eyewitness News is told the woman in the video had fled the scene.


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