Giordanos say they want hateful anti-Muslim flier distributors caught
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A prominent Sunset Park couple, angered by the recent case in which anti-Muslim fliers were distributed in a Bensonhurst apartment complex, have announced that they are personally offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information to police leading to the arrest of those responsible for the alleged hate crime.
Tony and Renee Giordano, who are well known in the Sunset Park business community and among neighborhood preservationists, said they plan to pay the reward money out of their own pockets.
Tony Giordano, a founder of Sunset Park Restoration, a group dedicated to preserving the community’s architecture, said he and his wife, the executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID), were shocked and saddened by the event that took place at Shore Haven and felt they had to take action.
As the Brooklyn Eagle reported, the offensive fliers were discovered in the apartment complex during the early morning hours of July 26.
The flier read: “Islamists. Go to your country. USA hates you. You are terrorists and bastards. You are the second Holocaust.”
The first flier was found by a 65-year-old woman who resides in Shore Haven, according to police, who said cops found an additional 10 fliers, all identical to the first one, when they conducted a search of the area.
The case is under investigation by the Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force and by detectives at the 62nd Precinct.
Giordano recalled that he turned to his wife after reading a newspaper article about the incident and said, "It isn't enough that we tell people this offends us, we have to do more. Would it be all right with you if we offer a $1,000 reward?" His wife immediately agreed, he said.
Renee Giordano made a series of phone calls to get the proper wording for the reward flyer from the Police Department’s Crime Stopper division.
Tony Giordano created an online reward flier and posted it to his 2,100 friends on Facebook. The reward poster instructs anyone with information to call the Crime Stopper hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
To Giordano’s dismay, two individuals asked if a crime had even been committed. “Isn't this just a person's fundamental right of freedom of speech?” one person asked.
The Giordanos said they believe that the fact that the hate-filled fliers were distributed in an organized manner indicated some level of planning behind it.
"The night before we learned about the flier, we were driving home from a friend's house and my husband saw the crescent moon in the sky and remarked ‘Ramadan is now over.’ It was a casual remark but it showed how the diversity of our Sunset Park community is in our minds,” Renee Giordano said. “And now to think these hateful acts were being committed at a time when our Muslim neighbors were in a period of serious self-reflection and praise of Allah made the actions of hate seem even worse,” she said.
The couple said that if their reward is not claimed they would donate the money to a pro-tolerance campaign in the Sunset Park community.