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Hate crimes are on the rise. What can we do? #TAKEONHATE

Posted on February 18, 2015

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It is difficult to believe what the people of North America have witnessed in a week’s time. Crimes fueled by hate against people based on their religion, or their perceived religion, are on the rise. This is made clear by a string of crimes, which have all happened within a seven-day span.

- On Feb. 9, Mustafa Mattan, 28, whose family emigrated from Somalia, was shot dead through his apartment door in Alberta, Canada.
- The windows were shot out at a Muslim secondary school in Montreal, Canada on Feb. 10.
- Three young American Muslims – Deah Barakat, 23; Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and Razan Abu-Salha, 19 –were killed by shots to the head on Feb. 11 in Chapel Hill, N.C.
- A Muslim family was physically assaulted while grocery shopping in Dearborn, Mich. on Feb. 12.
- A mosque in Houston, Texas was lit on fire on Feb. 13.
- A Rhode Island Muslim school was vandalized on Feb. 14 with the words “Now This is A Hate Crime.”
- A Hindu temple in Washington and a nearby school were vandalized with hateful words on Feb. 16.

We at the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE, led by the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC), a project of ACCESS, know you want to take action to prevent these atrocities from happening again. We can no longer afford to be silent. Lend your voices to our fight against hate and bigotry towards all people. Together, we can make an impact.

First, join us in holding community conversations to offer a place to discuss the tragedies and this recent string of hate crimes. TAKE ON HATE field organizers are available to assist you directly in the metro Detroit, New York, Chicago and San Francisco areas. If you’re not in one of those cities, you can still be involved by organizing your own community conversation. It’s easy! This toolkit will give you an outline of what to do. Then, simply register your conversation here and we will contact you to provide additional support.

We also encourage you to tell your story. A key goal of the Campaign to TAKE ON HATE is to empower you to speak out and make your voice heard.  Share with us your testimonies and personal stories of prejudice or hate – whether written, filmed, or recorded – here.

Add your voice to our call demanding the U.S. Department of Justice Attorney General Eric Holder and the FBI open a full and rigorous federal hate crime investigation into the killing of Deah, Yusor and Razan in Chapel Hill. Please sign our petition to help bring justice to these three vibrant young American Muslims and their families.

If you have experienced a hate crime, please report it. Don’t be silent or feel ashamed. These instances must be reported so that our voices are heard. See this resource by Muslim Advocates on how to report a hate crime.

Other ways you can help:

1) Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@takeonhate), and share our posts and calls to action with your followers. Please always use the hashtag #TAKEONHATE.

2) Take part in our action alerts. Have you signed our petition to have the Chapel Hill shooting investigated as a hate crime? You can find that plus our other action alerts here.

The Campaign to TAKE ON HATE strives to address issues of bias and discrimination, particularly toward Arab and Muslim Americans, and stands against bigotry towards all people. For more information, visit: www.takeonhate.org