KONFRONTASI - Two Muslim women in the US state of New York have been injured in what officials describe as a hate crime.
On Monday, a uniformed city transit employee was pushed down the stairs at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and was taken to hospital due to knee and ankle injuries.
A male suspect “approached her, called her a terrorist and said she should not be working with the city," while the woman was aboard a train, headed to Grand Central Terminal around 6:20 am, a spokesman with the New York Police Department said.
The suspect later followed her into the station and pushed her down a flight of stairs, the spokesman added.
The incident happened just two days after another Muslim woman, an off-duty police officer, suffered a hate crime in Brooklyn.
The hijab-wearing officer was out with her 16-year-old son on Saturday evening when she was harassed by a man.
They were subject to "ugly acts of hate, including threats of violence, simply because they are Muslim," said acting Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez.
"Those who commit hate crimes will be held accountable for their reprehensible and offensive actions," he added.
According to prosecutors, the suspect was held on a $50,000 bail on a hate crime charge on Monday.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Photo by AFP)
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that a subway train was vandalized with swastika graffiti on Saturday, adding that fliers and business cards by the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) hate group were distributed at two stations on the Long Island Rail Road last week.
The Democratic governor said hate crimes would be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.
"The work of the Hate Crimes Task Force has never been more urgent and we will continue to crack down on this type of criminal behavior," he said.
Hate crimes have been increasing in the United States since the November 8 election when Republican Donald Trump defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
During his campaign, Trump made several controversial remarks, including a call to ban all Muslims from coming to the US as well as stopping migrants by building a wall along the US-Mexico border.
According to his critics, Trump’s incendiary remarks have given rise to hate crimes in several US cities, with an advocacy group reporting that almost 900 incidents of hate and intolerance were recorded in the country during the first 10 days after Trump's election.[ptv]