Stephen Ellison

Alameda Community Outraged Over Anti-Islamic Hate Flyers

A message of hate posted on flyers throughout the city of Alameda had police on high alert and residents of the East Bay community pushing back Monday.

The flyer features an Islamic woman and a swastika and comes less than a week after a synagogue was vandalized. On Monday night, dozens of people gathered at the Islamic Center for a rally.

The 3-by-5-inch flyer Neil Crawford found on the sidewalk near his house Sunday portrays a swastika and a woman wearing a hijab with the words: "Help me kill you stupid." At the bottom, it says: "The new counterculture."

"I was sad," Crawford said. "I was disappointed that something like that would be in our community, that would be in our country and our world."

When Crawford found a second flyer near his house, just blocks from the Islamic Center of Alameda, he called police. An officer found a third flyer.

"The majority of hate crimes and hate incidents go unreported, so we knew it was important to stand up and be counted," said Lindsey Crawford.

The incident follows last week's vandalism of Alameda's Temple Israel, where rocks were thrown and windows were shattered. Alameda police consider it a hate crime.

Neighbors on Monday night rallied at the Islamic center, some carrying signs in response to the recent words and actions.

"Everyone is outraged, scared," said Carla Lopez. "I want to stand up against it. We don't want hate here. We're diverse, and we like being diverse."

Neighbor Christine Vauer agreed.

"We've had a lot of these things happening and escalating, and I don't think that's OK," Vauer said. "I don't think it's OK to ignore it. I think we have to stand up."

Alameda police were still trying to identify those responsible for both incidents. They have surveillance video of the synagogue vandalism but did not release it Monday.

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