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─Photo courtesy: Bill de Blasio Twitter
─Photo courtesy: Bill de Blasio Twitter

A man who authorities said shouted “go back to your country” at a Muslim woman wearing a religious head covering may have picked the wrong target: a decorated New York City police officer.

Officer Aml Elsokary, a New York City native who joined the force after the September 11 attacks, said she was off duty in her Brooklyn neighbourhood Saturday when she encountered a man yelling and pushing her 16-year-old son.

When she intervened, she said, the man referenced the militant Islamic State group and threatened to slit her throat.

It was the first time anything like that had happened to her, she said at a news conference with the city's mayor Monday.

“I became a police officer to show the positive side of a New Yorker, a Muslim woman, that can do the job,” Elsokary said.

“I help everybody, no matter what your religion, what's your faith, what you do in New York. I'm born and raised here.”

The man accused of making the threat, Christopher Nelson, 36, was arraigned Monday on a felony charge of menacing as a hate crime. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The encounter was one of a number of alleged episodes of religious or racial bigotry reported in the city in recent days.

On Monday, a transit worker who is Muslim was pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal by a man who called her a terrorist, police said. The station agent, who was wearing a religious head covering, was attacked while on her way to work. She was treated at a hospital for ankle and knee injuries.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo also noted in a statement that a subway train was vandalised with swastikas on Saturday, and Ku Klux Klan materials were distributed at Long Island Rail Road stations last week.

The police department cited Elsokary for bravery in 2014 after she and a partner ran into a burning building to save a baby. Police Commissioner James O'Neill recalled visiting Elsokary at the hospital where she and her partner were treated for smoke inhalation.

“You and your partner did a tremendous job that day,” O'Neill told her at Monday's news conference. Mayor Bill De Blasio said there are 900 Muslims serving as New York City police officers, on a force of about 36,000.

“In 2014, she ran into a burning building and helped to save a young girl and her grandmother. And, then, on Saturday, she had to experience a man allegedly yelling at her and her son, 'Go back to your country,'” said de Blasio.

“Well this is Officer Elsokary's country. She is an American. She is a New Yorker. She's already at home.”

Comments (42) Closed

Naveed Dec 06, 2016 11:19am

Thank you for your service and may God bless you.

IMTIAZ ALI KHAN Dec 06, 2016 11:34am

Thank you to the Lady Officer NYC's finest.

observer Dec 06, 2016 11:34am

What it means is although you might be a policewomen, it isn't safe for you in New York, this is a fallout of Trump victory.

Third Opinion Dec 06, 2016 11:37am

Thats called law & justice. Had this been in middle east, the women would have been stoned to death .

Zee Dec 06, 2016 11:40am

We Newyorkers are proud of you Aml.

Farooq Khan Dec 06, 2016 12:18pm

Yes, I have gone through this when I had beard; now I don't. I was rejected and humiliated.

Saad(DXB) Dec 06, 2016 12:24pm

God bless you sister. Don't be bogged down by the racial bigots. You are from wherever you live at and call home. No one has the right to take that away from you.

Kamal PASHA Dec 06, 2016 12:28pm

All Americans are not bad and all Muslims are also not terrorists.

A Dec 06, 2016 01:01pm

This is increasing and spreading fast ...every important city of the world is in the news for hate crimes.

Sad and frightening too !! No hope that this will stop looking to the change in the outlook of the people who are at the helm of the affairs.

Changez Khan Dec 06, 2016 01:20pm

A brave lady. Trump needs to come out and Tweet against bigotry.

Nuanced Dec 06, 2016 01:45pm

Bold lady - fight against hate

JARB Dec 06, 2016 02:27pm

Good attempt to integrate with outward expression of isolation.

Manzer Dec 06, 2016 02:34pm

@Third Opinion -- Your accusation about the middle east is baseless.

M.Saeed Dec 06, 2016 03:11pm

Hate creates terror.

ak Dec 06, 2016 03:36pm

Both heartwarming and sickening at the same time. Good people suffer because of the 0.000001 bad ones. Makes me so angry.

Basit Ali Dec 06, 2016 03:37pm

@Manzer Why do you say that, could you kindly compare and enlighten us about the degree and extent of freedom women enjoy in west and middle east?

Gerry D'Cunha Dec 06, 2016 03:47pm

Both Muslims and Christians believe in one God and hatred for any human being is not accepted in our belief and faith

SAEED MASOOD Dec 06, 2016 04:11pm

Great job NYPD Officer. God bless you keep it up.

AHA Dec 06, 2016 04:24pm

Even in New York now. Before Trump, this could have happened only in the deep South.

Junaid Muhammad Dec 06, 2016 04:42pm

@Manzer dont worry he is just an indian troll trying to sort out his complexes

Mike London Dec 06, 2016 04:43pm

The problem is lack of assimilation and adaption.

Hamad Dec 06, 2016 05:27pm

Hate is caused by hate to begin with. Shouldn't we really learn to keep religion and practices personal and private? I am really not interested in knowing what religion you belong to. Appear to me as a normal human being

No prejiduice Dec 06, 2016 05:32pm

@Mike London

Really Mike. She was born and raised in NY. She is a decorated police officer. What does she need to do more to adapt and assimilate. May be one need to change there mindset.

Vijay B. Dec 06, 2016 05:46pm

She is a brave and bold lady and obviously by her citations a top-notch police officer

Dawn Dec 06, 2016 05:47pm

Wellcome to newer USA-Trump's USA.

Qasim Dec 06, 2016 06:09pm

OMG - just pushing a poor lady down the stairs for wearing a head scarf ? this is scary.

Kabob bob Dec 06, 2016 06:12pm

@Mike London what do you consider assimila

Kabob bob Dec 06, 2016 06:15pm

@Mike London what do you consider assimilation? She is a officer that enforces laws set forth on the land she lives in. What other type of assimilation are you talking about you fool. Have you seen the diversity in NYC? Go to any distinct ethnic neighborhood they got their own thing going on.

Ozzy Dec 06, 2016 06:48pm

@Basit Ali wb you. Why dont u name a single muslim country in the to 10 for rape. Not a single one. Nd domestic violence against women is highest in the us. I could name much more.

vinod Narang Dec 06, 2016 07:03pm

This is what is called justice The man accused of making the threat, Christopher Nelson, 36, was arraigned Monday on a felony charge of menacing as a hate crime.

giri Dec 06, 2016 07:19pm

Shining example Americans have set for all Muslims. Muslim countries should show similar resolve

Ahsan Gul Dec 06, 2016 07:39pm

Thanks for your service.

Axomiya Dec 06, 2016 07:51pm

@Third Opinion So true.

INTREPID Dec 06, 2016 08:05pm

Elected and other officials in Muslim countries, including Pakistan should take lesson from the response of Mayor De Blasio in supporting his police officer, especially because she is a Muslim. This is how a true democratic government functions.

arshad patel Dec 06, 2016 08:06pm

Why not TERRORISM charges?

rana1 Dec 06, 2016 08:06pm

@Basit Ali ........for one,men dont go around bullying women.....this is happening in a so called educated West where the notion held is that muslim men beat their wife.Look who in West is bullying women ,the men and that too not even their own but women who do nit belong to them...In Middle East you do not find such behaviour that men go out to attack women and neither in Pakistan.Why in West and so called modern countries are women shelters filled to the brim?

rana1 Dec 06, 2016 08:10pm

@Third Opinion many women in your country get justice?

Imtiaz Faruqui Dec 06, 2016 09:17pm

There are some trash people like that, who are uneducated and failure in their life, they pick on weak people women and children , actually they are cowards and scared of men. I have lived in New York for 46 years and I know how to deal with such crap.

Imtiaz Faruqui Dec 06, 2016 09:24pm

@rana1 Muslim men bully their wives , domestic abuse is very common in Muslim culture. In the west a wife can send the husband to jail for such actions. So do not compare middle east with the west.

rana1 Dec 07, 2016 12:20am

@Imtiaz Faruqui one is stopping muslim women....except society.....every country has laws but its upto the women to fight off peer/family/society pressure.Unfortunately women will not stand up for women and neither the men...The law is there..maybe you as a male can deal with such a situation on one to one basis but you would not be able to if its a gang...and for the females?

Ozzy Dec 07, 2016 05:37am

@Hamad who are u to decide that and btw what "normal" and accoding to whos subjectivity?

Ozzy Dec 07, 2016 05:41am

@Imtiaz Faruqui and domestic abuse is highest in which country. Females are the highest victims of gun shooting in which country?. How many western countries are in the top 10 rape list?. You right dont compare west to middle east.