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Report: 10 Percent Increase In Hate Incidents Against California Muslims

September 7, 2017 1:22 p.m.

Report: 10 Percent Increase In Hate Incidents Against California Muslims

GUEST:

Hanif Mohebi, executive director, Council on American-Islamic Relations San Diego

Related Story: Report: 10 Percent Increase In Hate Incidents Against California Muslims

Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

A new survey for the Council on relations or training, they find hate incidents against Muslims are on the rise in California. That trend is true in San Diego as the number of incidences, including discrimination and bullying increased by 46% from 2015 to 2016. Joining me is Hanif Mohebi . Welcome.Thank you very much.Statewide, the number of hate incidents reported went up by almost 50%. What kinds of incidences have been reported ?We are talking about people being pushed into oncoming traffic. People are essentially targeted in many different ways, including the institutions and mosques or places of business. They are targeted. That is around California and around the nation.There has been an increase statewide among the Muslim community about complaints of contact with the FBI and law-enforcement. Tell us about that.Unfortunately, we have two problems that we are dealing with. Statewide and also in San Diego. Number one has been essentially the state level. The FBI and law enforcement, they are targeting the community. There has ban and increase of's the state level of 31%. On the local level, it is up to 40% in San Diego. There is an increase. You know, unfortunately, law enforcement does not have the right cultural competency to deal with this situation at hand. Therefore, there is a lot of harassment and discrimination and what could be easily prevented. I will give you an example. A Muslim American is born and raised right here in San Diego and decides to take a visit and go to Tijuana and come back. They are stopped. They are held for hours and some to M times -- somethings up to 18 hours and they asked -- they are asked about the religion, including why did you become Muslim. How many times do you pray? What mosque do you go to. Who is the man of the mosque. All of these are not in any, way, shape or form to help our security. We need to learn how to deal with this situation without discriminating, without targeting the community based on how they look or the perception they have or the religion or the color of their skin expect what is behind this rise of contact from law enforcement as you just mentioned or overall in the increase of hate incidences that has been reported by CAIR expect that is a complex question. It is a good question to ask. There are many challenges but the main one that has influenced this rise is the political atmosphere, the negative and local atmosphere that is out there. The administration that is targeting our -- minorities and marginalizing immigrants in the Muslim community. There is almost a green light for the ignorance on the streets to act negatively.In San Diego, it is a palling to report that local San Diego offices, hate crimes or hate incidences, threats that we have been getting, that has riced 126%. You know, if you compare to 2015 to 2016. At this date level -- at the local level, it is more. That concerns me because San Diego is a little and diverse place. Where's the hate coming from? There is an issue that we need to resolve.And yet, you are working with the San Diego District Attorney office on hate crimes and recently, you worked with this San Diego Unified School District to come up with an anti-bullying educational program to help detect Muslim students. There is some receptivity to try to nullify the kind of things your reporting here.[ laughter ]There is. However, again, there are hate groups that come and make a lots of noise. Sometimes, unfortunately, they scare good people away. In case in point, in San Diego unified school district, I hope we can move along and do the right thing. You know, it seems to me like there is a lots of entity and they are afraid and I ask myself, why is it that the Japanese and American brothers and sisters were put into camps? Who was responsible for that ultimately? I come up with an answer that it was the silent majority that people said nothing or took the easy way out. I think if we continue to essentially cater to a few local hate groups and hateful individuals that are very loud and not pay attention to the diseases, the cancer that is eating our American diversity way, we will be in a very bad situation. We may repeat history.Enclosing, I understand CAIR has an app to allow people to report an incident.Yes. You can check it out. People can easily report incidences to our offices around the nation, regardless of where you are. We encourage everybody to get on the app. When something happens, the major thing is to not be a bystander who does nothing. Learn to deal with the situation. How do you de-escalate the hate crime or hate incident that is happening in front of you? In a few weeks, we have a training for bystanders. How do you deal with these situations?We all, as good citizens and allies, we need to learn how to deal with situations. How do we de-escalate hate and how do we help those who are the target?I have been speaking with Hanif Mohebi, the director of the Council of the Islamic relations in San Diego.Thank you, very much.