WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League called the stabbing of a Muslim New York City taxi driver a hate crime.
The ADL said Thursday that the stabbing, which took place Tuesday night, was particularly disturbing given the current controversy surrounding the Islamic center planned for near Ground Zero. The ADL has said that the center has a right to be built but that building it so close to Ground Zero would be insensitive to the families of 9/11 victims.
In Tuesday’s incident, Michael Enright allegedly asked taxi driver Ahmed H. Sharif if he was Muslim, then made references to military checkpoints before stabbing him. Enright was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and assault as a hate crime.
“No person should ever be targeted because of their religion or ethnicity, and there is no justification for singling out Muslims,” Ron Meier, ADL’s New York regional director, said in a statement. “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.”