New York Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon did something her opponent hasn’t bothered to do in more than seven years as governor of New York — visit a mosque.
On Monday evening, Nixon attended Iftar, the breaking of the fast after Ramadan, at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York along with the Muslim Democratic Club of New York.
“We all know it’s an election year, and we know that there are those in Washington who will demonize the Muslim community in order to turn neighbor against neighbor, divide us up — just so they can win a few votes through making Americans fear each other,” Nixon said in her remarks at the event.
“You shouldn’t have to face this kind of bigotry. You shouldn’t have to face this intolerance. You shouldn’t have to face it. Not in New York. Not in America. Not in 2018. Not now, not ever. And I want you to know that we in New York have your back and we will stand with you.”
Despite the relatively large Muslim population in and around New York City, the Muslim Democratic Club of New York told Mic they believe incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo has never once visited a mosque, though he has made it a point to visit other religious institutions like churches and synagogues. Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comments from Mic. No news reports of Cuomo visiting a mosque could be found.
“It’s easy to issue soundbites like ‘I’m a Muslim’ from afar,” said Mohammad Khan, MDCNY board member referencing Cuomo’s heavily mocked February speech, in which he declared himself a Muslim-Jewish-gay-black-poor-homeless refugee.
“But for someone to be able to credibly claim that their governorship is a guard against Trump’s bigotry, they need to engage with communities at the grassroots level,” Khan said. “We’re glad to see the Nixon campaign taking a step that Andrew Cuomo has avoided during his entire eight years as governor, and look forward to more engagement with the campaign.”