Bronx Community Council Hosts Meet-and-Greet with NYPD High-Ranking Officials


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Bronx, New York – In a significant display of solidarity and mutual respect, the Bronx Community Council, led by Shabbir Gul, organized a meet-and-greet event with high-ranking officials of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and New York Muslim chaplains. The event aimed to strengthen the bonds between the Muslim community and law enforcement, emphasizing cooperation in combating crime and safeguarding all communities.

The event, held with attending of NYPD chiefs and officers, including Chief John Chell, Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga, and Lieutenant Lee, alongside Imam and Dr. Ammaar Saeed and various Muslim community leaders. Discussions focused on protecting Muslim residents, addressing concerns over hate crimes, and celebrating the end of Ramadan.

Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga expressed his gratitude for the invitation and shared his experiences during Ramadan. “In the entire month of Ramadan, I spent time going to many different mosques all over the place. Each Friday, I spent time in each specific borough. It was a great month, and it ended with Eid on an amazing day in high school state, with 10,000 Muslim worshippers coming together to celebrate. It was amazing and something that I never want to forget. It’s very pleasing to see so many people praying together, all innocent and for peace,” he said.

In response to a question about whether Muslims always pray for peace, Valerga affirmed, “Yes, always, always.”

NYPD officials shared views, “The meet-and-greet is a great event. This month comes in peace, and I just appreciate the celebration.”

The organizer, Shabbir Gul shared, “This meeting is organized by Shabbir Gul from the Bronx Community Council, and it’s after Ramadan. Ramadan is a month of fasting from all illegal things and behaving as a good citizen. At the end of Ramadan, the Bronx Community Council gathers all the high officials of the NYPD to celebrate how this month of fasting ends.

NYPD officials shared values, I have known Brother Shabbir Gul for a long time. He is very active in arranging these types of events that help people in need. People like him can completely change society in a very good way.”

A member of the Muslim community shared his appreciation, saying, “It’s an honour to be part of our community festival. Brother Shabbir Gul and the imam have always been very active in the Bronx Community Council and did a lot of good work. He gathers many NYPD officials for the meet-and-greet, Muslim community members, and locals to give them awareness so that they can see how we celebrate our Eid and what a Muslim event looks like.”

Tims, a representative from the office of the NYPD Secretary, also commented on the event. “We were invited with our officials to have dinner at this meet-and-greet, and it’s amazing to strengthen our bond with the Muslim community. We spent a lot of time with the Muslim community and breaking fast in different mosques across the state. It’s been amazing, and now we are all here.”

A member of a community agency and a Hindu citizen attending the event highlighted the role of the New York Community Rights Agency in protecting rights and preventing discrimination. “You can visit our website and read the survey on how much the percentage of discrimination has increased against Muslims. We were invited by Brother Shabbir Gul to this event, and we will continue our partnership with him.”

Shabbir Gul, the event organizer, expressed his joy at the successful gathering. “I am very happy that we gathered officials with us; this has never happened before. The officials always save and protect us, our families, and our city. May Allah bless them. Today, we are honoured to be with them on Eid, the end of our month of fasting. We invited many NYPD officials, chiefs, our imam, Dr Ammaar Saeed and Brother Tims.”

Khursheed extended his gratitude to Shabbir Gul, saying, “Thanks to Shabbir Gul for always arranging these types of events to bring together police officials and officers.”

Additionally, Chief John Chell commented, “Ramadan is a beautiful month, and we celebrate it like a family. Don’t hesitate to ask for help whenever you need us.”

Chief Binto added, “This gathering is a testament to the strong bonds we are building between the NYPD and the Muslim community. We must work together to maintain peace and understanding in our diverse city.”

Moreover, Raja Ali Ejaz, the Consul General of Pakistan in New York, who was also present at the event, stated, “It is heartening to see such efforts in fostering unity and cooperation. The collaboration between the NYPD and the Muslim community sets an excellent example for communities worldwide.”

Dr Ammaar Saeed delivered the closing words, welcoming the officials and emphasizing the importance of peace in Islam. “If we don’t have peace, we are not Muslims,” he stated. He referenced Quran chapter 5, verse 32:

“If anyone kills anyone without any objection and mischievousness he creates on earth, he is not a Muslim. Anyone who saves a life is a great person. Our officers are here to protect us, and we don’t need to be scared from now on.”

The event successfully showcased the unity and mutual respect between the NYPD and the Muslim community, reinforcing the commitment to peace and cooperation in New York City.

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