Fremont political candidate's sign vandalized with swastika, another receives anti-Muslim messages

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Sunday, October 14, 2018
Swastikas and anti-Muslim messages emerge in Fremont political races
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"He texted me the photos and I was just in shock. I experienced a mixture of sadness, pain, anger." Justin Sha, 25, shared how he felt when he learned one of his campaign signs was defaced with a swastika.

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- Someone drew a swastika and devil's horns on the campaign sign of a Fremont City Council candidate named Justin Sha.

Sha's father, Ron, first discovered the vandalism.

"He texted me the photos and I was just in shock. I experienced a mixture of sadness, pain, anger," Sha said.

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"So saddened this could happen. Well, it's my son, of course I'm emotional, but to anybody else still it's not right. It's not right," Ron said.

At 25, Sha can't help but stand out as the youngest in the District 4 race.

When asked why he's running, Sha explained, "There are many reasons. I think the one most relevant tonight is youth representation, but also making sure that we have a Fremont that's inclusive of everyone."

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While covering a candidate's forum hosted by the Islamic Society of East Bay, ABC7 learned of more unsettling incidents, this time involving a school board candidate.

"Last week I got a series of hateful comments posted on to my Facebook account. They were very anti-Muslim, bigoted, horrible comments calling me all sorts of names," said Fahria Khan, a Fremont Unified School District Board Trustee candidate.

She reported the posts to Facebook, then deleted them. She also wrote her own post notifying followers that she would continue to delete hateful posts.

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"We need to be respectful to each other and we need to teach our children that. We have to be good role models," said Khan.

Civil discourse can be civil.

"We all have different political opinions. Well that's what America's about. You know, let's have a healthy debate about it. You know, let people make a decision, but not to do this kind of thing," Ron said.

Both Sha and Khan have reported the incidents to the Fremont Police Department.