June 18, 2024

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SFBA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned the hateful verbal attack allegedly directed at Muslims from the Islamic Center of San Francisco as they gathered for an Eid al-Adha celebration at McLaren Park in San Francisco on Monday morning.

The disturbing incident, captured on video, reportedly involved a man who approached the group, making racist and Islamophobic remarks. 

“Your religion is full of hate,” the man is heard saying at the start of the video. The man continued to hurl offensive language, including, “You come from a f—ked-up country,” and “You’re not welcome here, you expletive.” The man’s verbal abuse culminated in calling the group “devils.” 

In a statement, CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo said: 

“This kind of hate speech is unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest terms. The Muslim community, like any other community, has the right to gather and worship in peace. Such incidents only serve to underscore the urgent need to address the rise in Islamophobia across our nation. 

“This kind of hostility and ignorance is not only harmful to those directly targeted but also to the broader society as it fosters division and intolerance. We urge community leaders, public officials, and all people of conscience to stand with us in denouncing such acts of hate.”  

In a statement, Islamic Center of San Francisco Board Member Shahbaz Shaikh said: 

“I have been a part of this community for many years and have never seen anything like this in San Francisco before. It was a horrible and sad incident. We felt very unsafe, and it was shocking the way the man was so casual with his racism and xenophobia.” 

This incident comes on the heels of CAIR’s recently released report, which documents the highest number of reported incidents of Islamophobia in the organization’s 30-year history. The report highlights a troubling increase in anti-Muslim sentiment and calls for immediate action to combat this pervasive issue. 

SEE: Fatal: The Resurgence of Anti-Muslim Hate 

CAIR-SFBA reaffirms its commitment to advocating for the rights of all individuals to practice their faith free from fear and discrimination. We encourage anyone experiencing acts of aggression, racism, or Islamophobia to contact its Civil Rights Department at 408.986.9874 or visit bit.ly/cairsfbareport.