Orange County Leads California In Anti-Islamic Hate Crime Complaints

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released its 2014 Civil Rights Report, and the results aren't exactly shocking: Orange County leads the state of California in the reporting of hate crime incidents during the past year.

CAIR has four offices in California: San Diego, the Greater Los Angeles Area (known as Anaheim to us locals), Santa Clara and Sacramento, and the organization cautions that increased numbers of complaints in those areas could relate to the proximity of CAIR offices.

That said, the Muslim-American civil rights organization took in 993 hate crime complaints and of those, 444, or nearly half of the total, were from Orange County.

Meanwhile, CAIR documented just 282 complaints in the Bay Area Santa, 115 in Sacramento, and only 92 in San Diego.

According to the report, most of the complaints involved employment (15.1 percent), followed by immigration-related issues, (11.1 percent), and contacts with the FBI, which has long been monitoring Muslims in Orange County, and other law enforcement agencies (10.8 percent).

CAIR's 26-page report doesn't provide much detail into the various complaints it logged, but does include the following narrative involving a hate crime incident that took place in Orange County:

Two teenage American Muslim girls were using the restroom at a Southern California hotel when they were assaulted by a Caucasian woman. The perpetrator who attacked the girls pulled the headscarf off one of the girls and attempted to pull off the headscarf of the other teenager. While physically assaulting them, the perpetrator yelled "I do not approve of this, this is America!"

According to the report, CAIR reported the incident to the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD), which opened a hate crime investigation. While it's unclear where that investigation led, it's a definite improvement for the OCSD when it comes to hijabs. As the Weekly has previously reported, the sheriff's department was sued by a woman who claimed deputies at the county jail wouldn't let her wear her headscarf behind bars when she spent a few hours in a holding cell in 2006. The woman won a settlement against the county in 2013.

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Email: nschou@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @NickSchou. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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