Civil rights groups fear victims of hate crimes not coming forward

FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) -- The number of hate crimes across the country have gone up since the election. Organizations that track those incidents say there is a way to deflect the harassment and intimidation.

Fremont is home to the largest population of Afghan Americans. The overwhelming majority of Afghans are Muslims.

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Yelp even has a page that ranks the best ten mosques in Fremont.

But the election of Donald Trump has sent a wave of concern here.

"Everyone not the same, that's why I'm a little bit scared," said one Fremont Muslim woman.

Earlier in the week, a hiker in Fremont wearing a scarf to protect her from the sun, had her car window broken into. The perpetrator mistook her for Muslim, and left a hate note.

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Other than that incident, police say since the election there have been no other hate crime-related cases reported in Fremont. But the Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, thinks people just are not coming forward.

"A lot of people are encountering these hate incidents but they are not reporting it. You see it on social media, but they haven't been reporting them to CAIR or to police and so, whatever reported cases we're getting, the assumption is that there are far more things that are happening," explained Sameena Usman, with CAIR.

Some of these non-profits are now telling people to take a different approach when confronted by someone who is hostile.

A cartoon by a French illustrator has gone viral. It shows someone being harassed on a train and another passenger coming to talk to her.

"Just start a conversation with them and ignore the aggressor," said Usman.

It's called non complementary behavior, which means doing the unexpected.
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