They’re doing this despite the fact that “apart from some incidents, residents say their worst fears about a backlash in their own community never materialized.”
In reality, Jews are targeted for hate attacks twice more often than Muslims; where is any city in the United States doing anything about anti-Semitism? Do you have to pull off a terror massacre to get some love around here?
Almost a year after her father was killed in the San Bernardino terror attack last December, Kate Bowman etched the word “love” in yellow chalk on the sidewalk outside a mosque.
It was just one of the messages of peace the 15-year-old Lutheran and her mother have left in an effort to unify Muslims and Christians in the hardscrabble city east of Los Angeles against the violence that many community members feared might divide them.
“What angered me most after December 2 was the amount of hate speech going on,” Bowman said, recalling the day her father, Harry Bowman, and 13 others were killed by husband-and-wife assailants at a lunch meeting for county health inspectors in San Bernardino.
“I just kind of didn’t understand how people could be that ignorant about another religion” and blame an entire community, Bowman said.
Bowman’s actions were among efforts in the city to counter what some feared would be a prolonged, hate-filled backlash. Victims’ families, such as Bowman’s, encouraged dialogue and tolerance. The Muslim community undertook its own campaign to educate neighbors about Islam. Clergy organized interfaith talks.
Nationwide, hate crimes against Muslims were up last year and Donald Trump frequently used heated rhetoric about Muslims on the campaign trail.
As San Bernardino prepares to mark the anniversary of the onslaught, a Somali-born Muslim student carried out an attack at Ohio State University and police in Los Angeles met with Muslim leaders to condemn hateful letters sent to mosques in the city and elsewhere.
In San Bernardino, apart from some incidents, residents say their worst fears about a backlash in their own community never materialized.
“I think as a community it felt good not to be divided,” said Brian Levin, a professor at California State University, San Bernardino who studies hate crimes. “And I think in other parts of the country they had the luxury of hating when we didn’t.”…