As the holy fasting month of Ramadan approaches, New York police department has assured the Muslim community that there are no credible threats against their community or mosques, AM New York reported.
“It’s a time of spiritual reflection, renewal of faith and commitment to charity. It all hinges on every person’s right to worship freely and without fear,” Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, addressing the crowd at police headquarters.
O’Neill and other police officials delivered their annual briefing Tuesday ahead of the Islamic holy month, which begins May 5 and ends June 4.
The briefing followed the New Zealand terrorist attack in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed.
O’Neill added that it was important for the community to communicate with police during Ramadan and beyond.
He said that while there are no specific threats to the Muslim community, the NYPD will be “increasing patrols and placing high-visibility posts around our many houses of worship.”
According to NYPD statistics, there were 361 total hate crimes in 2018, an increase from 2017, when there were 338 recorded hate crimes.
Yet, anti-Muslim hate crimes have been declining as only three hate crimes were recorded this year, compared to 18 in 2018 and 34 in 2017.
“This level of personal connection is critical,” he said.
“What we found is that when we work together toward a common purpose, we get public safety that truly looks and feels different. We want everyone to have input about those issues in their neighborhood.”
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, and good deeds.