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Christine Quinn and Other Pols Blast Mezuzah Torchers

By Trevor Kapp | April 9, 2013 3:40pm | Updated on April 9, 2013 3:50pm

WILLIAMSBURG — City Council Speaker Christine Quinn spoke out Tuesday against the burning of 11 mezuzuhs yesterday on Holocaust Remembrance Day, calling it a hate crime “perpetrated by cowards” and insisting that the city will catch those responsible.

Quinn, who was joined by several other elected officials and dozens of members of South Williamsburg’s Hasidic community, said their will be no tolerance for attempts to intimidate another religious group.

“Hate is a cancer, and it must be eradicated,” she said. “We are not going to let any person or people in any way, shape or form act in a way that’s only intention is to bring fear to individuals who are doing nothing but living their lives.”

The mezuzahs, parchment containing Torah verses, were torched inside the Taylor-Wythe Houses at 85 Taylor St. about 4:45 p.m., police said. No one has been arrested.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said New Yorkers must be committed to ending religious desecration.

“When you attack a mezuzah, you are attacking a family, a wife, a husband, a guardian, a grandparent, a child,” he said. “Whoever is in that household is no longer safe. This is a hate crime that invades the household and invades your heart and mind.”

Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez called it a “despicable act.”

“We have people in this development who are survivors of the Holocaust,” Velasquez said. “Why could someone be so mean?”

Quinn insisted the acts were not representative of New Yorkers' religious tolerance and urged the perpetrators to come forward.

“The full force of the civic community is going to come down upon you,” she said. “You will be apprehended, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”