Muslim advocacy groups have condemned Tuesday’s deadly truck attack in New York City.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country’s largest Muslim civil rights group, called the incident a “cowardly attack” meant to sow discord across America, and offered its “sincere condolences to the loved ones of those killed and injured.”
“Since the goal of such heinous crimes is to divide our nation, it is incumbent on Americans of all faiths and backgrounds to frustrate that criminal objective by standing united in the face of terror,” CAIR said in a statement, using the hashtag #NYCStrong.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek national, is accused of driving a rented Home Depot pickup truck into pedestrians and cyclists on a bike path along the West Side Highway. Although NYPD commissioner James P. O’Neill would not confirm reports that Saipov yelled “Allahu Akbar” upon exiting the vehicle, he did say that the suspect had made a statement that was “consistent” with a terror attack.
At least eight people died and 11 others were wounded in the incident. Five victims were identified as Argentine citizens and one Belgian was killed, according to their countries’ foreign ministries. Saipov was shot at the scene but is expected to live.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) said it was “devastated and angered by this act of terror” and offered its “deepest thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the attack.
Albert Fox Cahn, legal director for CAIR’s New York chapter, echoed calls for compassion, saying the city would stand strong after the incident.
“In the wake of this tragedy, we know that New Yorkers will not only show our city’s enduring resilience, but we will prove that our love and compassion are stronger than anyone who attacks and divides us,” Fox Cahn said.