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Residents Rally to Support Alameda’s Muslim Community

rally in support of islamic center

Residents assemble in front of Alameda’s Islamic center on Monday, August 21, 2017. (Action Alameda News)

A small group of people rallied on short notice at the Islamic Center of Alameda this evening to show support for the local Muslim community after hate flyers surfaced over the weekend.

Neil Crawford, of Central Alameda, told Action Alameda News that he was walking down Sherman Street on Sunday morning when he picked up from the sidewalk the first flyer, about the size of a smartphone, which he crumpled up and threw away.

The flyer includes the image of a woman in a hijab, overlaid with a Nazi swastika, and text that reads, “- HELP ME KILL YOU – STUPID!”

On his way home later that day, Crawford said he found a second flyer, which he took home, and shared with his wife. They decided to report it to the Alameda police department.

“It was clearly something that did not belong here,” Crawford said. “The swastika was something that stood out like a sore thumb.”

He said he was shocked and surprised at first, then disappointment set in. “[The swastika] is something for the history books only,” Crawford said.

Crawford said the responding officer had a lot of questions and wanted to help.

In their investigation, Alameda police knocked on the door of Crawford’s neighbor, Monica Martinez.

Martinez told Action Alameda News, “it’s always surprising to see a uniformed officer at the door, especially on a Sunday. When he said what he was there for, there was a moment of disbelief, then utter disappointment in humanity.”

The officer asked if she had seen anyone going door-to-door, leaving anything.

Crawford told Action Alameda News that the flyers he saw were not left on doorsteps but found on the ground, as if they might have been dropped by accident.

Martinez said, “I think just from the reactions on social media, people feel insulated in Alameda and think that it can’t happen here, but it can and it is, and people should be more aware. It can happen on our little island.”

The flyer is tagged at the bottom “THE NEW COUNTER CULTURE.”

In December of 2015, somebody smashed a window at the Islamic center, and, last Thursday, somebody smashed classroom windows at Alameda’s Jewish temple on Bay Farm Island.

Anyone with information on the source of the flyers is asked to contact the Alameda Police Department.

1 comment to Residents Rally to Support Alameda’s Muslim Community

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