Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The graffiti, painted over

For Immediate Release – February 8, 2012
From the office of Councilmember Brad Lander 

Kensington Community Condemns Hate Crime at Vigil 

Muslim-owned business targeted with Anti-Muslim Vandalism, Community Unites Against Hate

Residents of Brooklyn’s diverse Kensington neighborhood gathered today in response to recent anti-Muslim vandalism in the neighborhood. 

Mamun Ur Rashid, the owner of TDS Insurance on Church Avenue, discovered the Islamophobic vandalism on his store Monday morning and reported it to police.

“We do not want any religious conflict in Kensington,” said Mamun Ur Rashid, the owner of TDS Insurance.  “We respect people of all faiths and seek to live together in peace.”

“Hate has no place in our community,” said City Councilmember Brad Lander. “Kensington is one of Brooklyn’s most diverse and vibrant neighborhoods – with strong Jewish, Christian, and Muslim populations, with long-time and newer residents, including immigrants from Bangladesh and Latin America.”

Before the incident occurred, Councilmember Lander had begun exploring making the area– an expanded sidewalk area in front of TDS insurance and neighboring stores at the intersection of Beverly Road and Church Avenue – into a new mini-plaza. This new community space would be created by and for the neighborhood’s diverse communities.

“This is the time for all of us, from the Islamic, Christian, and Jewish faiths, to become one and fight against people who want to hurt and divide us,” said Veronica Guzman, a leader in Kensington’s Latino community. “At end of the day, it doesn’t not matter where you came from, because when you turn the light off we all become one color and our heart beats the same way. We need to respect and love each other.”

“Being hateful towards any of us is being hateful towards all of us,” said Maggie Tobin of the West Kensington Action Group. “We will not tolerate or stand silently in the wake of this kind of ignorance. We Kensingtonians are moving towards a more peaceful and educated community; that we can learn to focus on our similarities and celebrate our differences.”

“An attack against any of our neighbors is an attack against all of us,” said Alan Dubrow, chairman of Community Board 12 and a Kensington resident. “Diversity is what makes this community and our country a great place to live in. We will not tolerate this type of behavior to permeate throughout our community.”