Welcome Visitors

About Me:

I'm the Queen of the Click...Brooklynite taking over the world from her computer. MCSE, Martha Stewart Wanna Be.

February 26, 2017

July 2016 – Khader El-Yateem was Silent in Bay Ridge


I checked Khader El-Yateem’s Facebook to see his response to an incident in July 2016. He didn’t have a response. An incident involving Arabic teens being inappropriate to a woman took place outside of a mosque in Sunset Park. At first, the incident was labeled with Islamophobia, but since there was video of the incident, the NYPD were able to say the incident was not bias related.  No one cared about the unnamed woman as her rights were overshadowed by those calling out “Islamophobia” and her fiance hitting the teens. The woman sat in the car and didn’t provoke the teens to talk to her, yet even Councilman Menchaca did not speak out on her behalf.  Days later, the men at the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge mosque had a march in Bay Ridge and headed towards Marty Golden office because Golden backed Trump. They believed that Trump caused the man to hit the teens. No one wanted to discuss what was on the video or why the video was cut short.  Not one Arabic leader spoke up last Summer and said anything about the the teens’ inappropriate behavior towards a woman.


Pastor El-Yateem was silent.  Why? Because El-Yateem lives in Dyker Heights, so it doesn’t bother him that a woman was approached in a disrespectful way. It’s not his daughter so there was no reason for him to speak out. And now that El-Yateem is running for office, we are going to get “the priestly words of wisdom”: 





El-Yateem stayed silent. Jesus did not stay silent when someone was unjust towards a woman so don’t play us lip service, Reverend.  El-Yateem wasn’t bothered that Muslim teens thought it was okay to approach a woman alone in a car and speak with her in a disrespectful way.  El-Yateem didn’t seek the truth for the community and ask that the whole tape be shown (so everyone could know the truth – not just the Sunset Park mosque and the police). In 2014, when the Muslim community in Bay Ridge had an incident with a Jewish teen named Chaim Weiss (more info here), Rabbi Jack Meyer and two other rabbis from Borough Park came to Bay Ridge to smooth things over. Meyer is a recognized leader in Borough Park and he always steps up – no one needed to tell him to step up – he just does (I had the pleasure of being his neighbor before moving to Bay Ridge).


At the end of July, the newspaper announced the Bay Ridge Beyond Pride Event.


This flyer also appeared online right before the event.  So an event was happening at El-Yateem’s church, yet, no one spoke out for that woman who the Muslim teens bothered?   There wasn’t one Arabic man or woman who  said, “The behavior displayed by the teens was inappropriate and we are working as a community on this.”  NOPE – NOTHING.  


So I said something….well actually I said quite a bit to the organizers…..yup I gave my full name and my background (see public comments on twitter part 1part 2  and here – I also spoke to Kayla through messenger). I explained why this issue was important to me and this community.  When we keep getting this wrong, a new generation learns that it is okay to be sexist and hateful.  But my complaint fell on deaf ears.


kayla santosusso



The article in the paper mentioned the string of attacks against Muslims and links to the event in Sunset Park. I asked the people sharing the flyer above who was sponsoring the event (notice the flyer doesn’t have a name or contact number). No one mentioned Reverend Khader El-Yateem’s name – in fact they didn’t really want to say any names. If I had known a pastor was involved, I would have given him a call. If Pastor El-Yateem was a leader in this community, he wouldn’t have held a forum like this at his church without speaking the truth into our neighborhood. El-Yateem doesn’t care that angry men marched in Bay Ridge because he lives in Dyker Heights and is far enough removed from the area. Pastor El-Yateem was photographed in the center of audience at this poorly attended event.    



Pastor El-Yateem never addressed any of the concerns that I made to the organizers, especially to Kayla Santosuosso who is now serving as his campaign field director. I found Ms. Santosuosso easily dismissed what I said and she was the one who told me that it had nothing to do with the Sunset Park incident. Obviously, she didn’t want to hear someone had an issue with an event she was running. Pastor El-Yateem never contacted me, even after I had so many complaints.



When there is an incident of xenophobia in Bay Ridge, let’s call it out and get those people help because so far most of the people who had problems with Muslims also had mental issues. I’m there with you on this as my students shouldn’t have to live in a world with hate. But let’s be real here – it’s fifteen years after  9/11  and most of the time people get along in Bay Ridge. Bay Ridge is made of up of a community of people who care about each other and no one wants anyone else to be hurt or suffer. When there isn’t Islamphobia,leaders need to speak up and speak the truth into our neighborhood. Not one Arabic or Muslim leader in Bay Ridge thought it was important to do this for our community this past July. Whispering about it in your church or mosque just makes you part of the problem (FYI – two leaders did contact me personally – one in Bay Ridge and one outside Bay Ridge – neither were Arabic).



Pastor Khader El-Yateem and organizers held the Beyond Pride event in July -> Pride Month is in June and no events were held for Pride Month in Bay Ridge. *If this event was to show support for the LGBTQ community, photos of the audience wouldn’t have been shared online as many have not come out to their families. Finally and most importantly, the flyer mentioned the Orlando shootings (a Muslim man named Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 at a gay club). Islam condemns homosexuality strongly (the Quran says that homosexuals should be stoned to death). While all Muslims aren’t anti-gay, many are because of their religion. Why didn’t the organizers and Pastor El-Yateem organize this event with the mosque in Bay Ridge so a real discussion could happen?  It’s easy to have an event a Christian Church where even many older people have become more accepting of homosexuality. It’s hard to have the real discussions and that’s the problem in our neighborhood. Who got paid from the event? Who funded the event – speakers and food? Why be shady if you are doing something good?  Something just wasn’t right here and the organizers purposely avoided putting a name and contact on the flyers because they didn’t want us to know who was behind the event.  



Topics: Bay Ridge | No Comments »