Oh, BOO HOO…Spike in ‘trumped-up’ accusations of hate speech put San Francisco Muslim college whiners on edge

islam-will-dominate-300x274Hana Ghanim, a UC Berkeley student, doesn’t feel safe at school anymore. Ghanim and other Muslim students at universities across the Bay Area are taking precautions after a number of alleged but not witnessed so-called ‘hate crimes’ on their campuses since the Nov. 8th presidential election of Donald Trump, who said during his campaign that he would ban Muslims from entering the country.

308810_189481844453696_100001756450088_472455_1673597_n

SF Chronicle  Her fears come after an incident Nov. 10 on the UC Berkeley campus in which three men threatened to rip off a student’s hijab, or headscarf, and taunted her over Trump’s stunning victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“The fact that half the country voted to elect a man with such blatant xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic and racist views is telling,” said the 21-year-old Ghanim. Hate incidents have “become quite common, and that’s very worrisome for me.”

213

As vice president of her school’s Muslim Student Association, Ghanim has helped organize group prayers at Sproul Plaza since the hate incident occurred, and held an Islamophobia workshop for students across campus.

Ghanim’s Berkeley organization also created a WhatsApp message group with more than 200 members who volunteer to escort students fearful of walking on campus alone.

dddddd

Berkeley students are not the only ones taking action. Doaa Abdelrahman, president of the Muslim Student Association at San Jose State University, also created a Facebook message group with close to 50 participants for students to call on if they don’t want to walk by themselves.

“We were mainly motivated to create it after Esra Altun was attacked” on campus, said Abdelrahman, 22. “A lot of people were feeling unsafe on campus after her attack, and they didn’t want to walk alone.”

maxresdefault

Altun was walking to her car in a university parking garage, on the day the Berkeley incident occurred, when a man came up behind her and grabbed her hijab, causing it to tighten around her neck and choke her.

Abdelrahman met with San Jose State President Mary Papazian and other members of the school administration on Thursday to discuss safety measures that can be taken to protect students — including security cameras and extra lighting in parking garages.

srebrenica-massacre1

Additionally, Abdelrahman proposed that a workshop on hate crimes, including incidents inspired by Islamophobia, be added to orientation sessions for new students.

“The number of hate incidents we’ve seen in the last week is ridiculously high,” said Saba Maher, civil rights coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area Office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

men-cry-prayer

Despite the Bay Area’s reputation for having some of the most accepting and ethnically diverse cities in the United States, complaints of harassment and discrimination have been on the rise since Trump’s historic win, Maher said. And Muslim women are an easy target for incidents triggered by hate because of the hijabs they wear, she added.

Yasra Syed (below), a 23-year-old student at San Francisco State University and president of the Muslim Women Student Association, said her fear isn’t confined to campus boundaries. “After the elections, I’ve been more conscious of my surroundings,” Syed said, adding that because many students at San Francisco State are commuters, they’re more worried about being targeted on Muni or BART.

460x1240

Syed is working on implementing a buddy system for Muslim students afraid to walk alone on the campus. She’s also encouraging her fellow Muslim students to take self-defense classes and is raising money to buy pepper spray for the members of the group.

Throughout his campaign, Trump said Muslims should be barred from entering the United States and called for a database to track American Muslims. “If Donald Trump pursues many of the policies that he discussed in the campaign, we will see him in court,” said Abdi Soltani, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. (Knock yourself out)

crying-muslims

The Muslim-funded Southern Poverty Law Center reported 437 reports of hateful intimidation and harassment from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14. The center also stated that many incidents involved direct references to the president-elect’s campaign and slogans.

The FBI released its annual hate crime report on Monday, finding that anti-Muslim hate crimes spiked to 257 incidents nationwide in 2015 compared to 154 in 2014, a 67 percent increase. (Yet that number is still five times lower than anti-Jewish hate crimes, but we never hear about those)

“It’s so sad that (these incidents) could happen to anyone,” said Syed. “It’s very scary just knowing that this is part of the Bay Area.”

menagis