On Tuesday night (8/24) in an apparent hate crime, Ahmed Sharif (age 43), who was working at his job as a taxi driver, was brutally stabbed in his throat, face, and arm by a passenger because he is Muslim.
According to the New York Times, 21-year-old Michael Enright of Brewster, NY, hailed Mr. Sharif’s taxi, asked him if he were Muslim, and then said “as-salaamu alaikum” and “consider this a checkpoint” before assaulting him. Apparently, Mr’ Sharif’s neck was slashed halfway across his throat, nearly costing him his life.
Today, Mr. Enright was arraigned in the Manhattan Criminal Court and charged with second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, first-degree assault as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He is being held without bail.
Mr. Enright, who is reported to have volunteered at Intersections International, a nonprofit organization that promotes cross-cultural understanding, is apparently “shocked” at the allegations against him.
Intersections International released the following press release today:
“Wednesday, August 25, 2010
"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
"Rev. Robert Chase, Executive Director,
Joseph Ward III, Communications Director,
“We have learned about an incident wherein one of our volunteers may have been charged with a hate crime in a stabbing incident that involved a New York City cab driver on Tuesday evening
“The alleged perpetrator is not an employee and has never been an employee of Intersections. There is a person who fits the description of the alleged perpetrator who has worked with us as a volunteer, but until we get further confirmation of the details in this incident, we cannot comment.
“Our hearts go out to the cab driver, his family and any person who has dealt with such unacceptable violence.
“Intersections is on record, explicitly and consistently, as promoting interfaith dialogue and cross cultural cooperation, specifically with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We deplore violence and any act that may be categorized as a hate crime.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all parties in this tragic incident.”
* Permission granted to use image under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
For further reading, check out these articles:
Hate Crime in the United States: Do you know where the hate groups are in your state?