A recent New York Times article discussed the dichotomy which Muslims in America face. On the one hand, strangers can be welcoming and friendly to Muslims. But, the other side for the community is living on edge in a hostile environment that is emboldened by the rhetoric perpetuated by President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team.
On Tuesday, Raj Salwan, a resident of Fremont, California in the San Francisco Bay Area, posted on Facebook a photograph of a hateful note which was recently left on the car of a friend, Solonica Pancholy.
After hiking Mission Peak, Pancholy returned to her car to discover that her window had been broken and a note was left behind. The threatening note from an apparent Trump supporter read, “Hijab wearing bi***, this is our nation now, get the f*** out.”
For the record, Pancholy is not Muslim, according to NBC Bay Area. She was wearing a scarf to protect herself from the sun since she has lupus.
In Salwan’s post, he wrote that this form of hate crime is not acceptable under any circumstances. He explained how many people currently experience fear given Donald Trump’s contentious campaign and subsequent election to the presidency.
“Many of our neighbors, friends, and family fear the current climate in our country, and we must do our best to make sure everyone is respected. I along with many members of our community will not tolerate hate crimes in our city. Our diversity is our strength,” he said.
The time to report hate crimes and other acts of intimidation is now. Salwan continued, “Please speak up about any such incidents so that we can take swift action and prevent hate in our community.”
He concluded his Facebook post with a strong statement against hate in the community. “We have no room for hate in Fremont,” he said.
Other Facebook users responded with solidarity to Salwan’s post, with many people expressing shock and disgust.
Salwan’s Facebook message of having zero tolerance for hate echoed the recent speech given by Nihad Awad on Nov. 9, the day after Trump won the election.
Awad, a director for American civil rights group Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, “Regardless of who won yesterday’s election, American Muslims are here to stay. We are not going anywhere.”
The message that the Muslim community “will not be intimidated or marginalized” is one which many agree with, regardless of whether or not a person is Muslim. The hateful attack against Salwan's friend is one of many, but that does not mean that minorities are without allies.
Banner photo: Facebook, Raj Salwan