City combats Islamophobia with social media campaign

The city is hitting the streets and social media to combat Islamophobia.

The Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and Office of Immigrant Affairs announced Monday the launch of its campaign to promote respect and understanding for the thousands of Muslim New Yorkers.

Despite the New York’s history of tolerance and diversity, the NYC Commission on Human Rights said the number of investigations into discrimination went up 60% in the last two years.

“In New York, everyone deserves to be treated with respect,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Agnostic, and Atheist — it doesn’t matter. We are all New Yorkers and we all deserve to live safely and free from hatred or discrimination.”

The campaign’s biggest component is a social media push that will feature real New York Muslims and a hashtag #iammuslimnyc. The ads will direct people to the online hub, NYC.gov/iammuslimNYC, which contains a downloadable fact sheet about legal protections in place to help Muslim Americans, such as laws that punish businesses and landlords from discriminating against someone for their religion.

The site will also have hotlines for people to contact the city if they face discrimination.

The campaign also includes community safety and fair treatment forums in locations across the city.

NYU’s Islamic Center is also teaming up with the city with a workshop called “Understanding Islam,” that will help private and public employees understand more about the religion.

A pilot workshop is slated for next month.

More from around NYC