2 hate crimes against Muslim students reported on Bay Area college campuses since election

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Bay Area is incredibly diverse and the national divide exposed by the presidential election is hitting home.

There have been at least two reported hate crime incidents on local college campuses. One student said Monday she does not plan to stop wearing her head scarf but she also says she's taking precautions to make sure she's more aware of her surroundings.

UC Berkeley Junior Asma Ahmed says since Donald Trump was elected president she walks around campus with only one ear bud in.

RELATED: San Jose student said she was attacked for wearing a hijab

"Cause I don't feel safe anymore. I don't feel I can walk around being who I am and be accepted as I am," said UC Berkeley junior Asma Ahmed.

The executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) San Francisco Bay Area Office says Ahmed's fears are founded.

"In Berkeley, a student was targeted by a couple of men who walked by threatening to pull off her head scarf, taunting her that Donald Trump had been elected, said Zahra Billoo, executive director of Bay Area CAIR.

RELATED: Anti-Muslim hate crimes up 67 percent

At San Jose State University, another student told ABC7 News that last week someone pulled her head scarf off in a campus garage.

"When he did it choked me," said San Jose State student Esra Altun.

"I think what we're experiencing is almost a whole avalanche of these Islamaphobic incidents on a national level," said UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian.

UC Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian says he's spoken with students who are considering taking off their head scarves or leaving campus. Bazian says he believes President-elect Donald Trump has fueled hate crimes.

"He made the racist discourse an acceptable point of view politically," Baziam said.

"I will say this and I'll say it right to the camera, 'stop it," said Donald Trump during a TV interview.

In his first television interview, President-elect Trump said he was saddened by what he heard was a small amount of reported hate crimes.

"I saw one or two instances. I think it's a very small amount," Trump said.

"If he's surprised it's willful ignorance," Billoo said.

Despite her discomfort, Ahmed says she does not plan to stop wearing her head scarf.

"Why do we need to take off a part of who we are to appease a couple of people who are afraid of what it represents," Ahmed said.
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