Statements from presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump that police patrol Muslim neighborhoods in the United States has many in the Bay Area balking and calling for an end to political rhetoric meant to be incendiary and divisive.
"I worry about a potential president of our country is so un-American in his explanation of civil liberties," said Zahra Billoo, executive director for the San Francisco Bay Area Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. "It now feels like six months of a barrage of candidates and pundits using tragedies like this to attempt to further divide."
Billoo said the recent backlash against American Muslims is real. Her office receives up to 400 calls a year for help when people in her community have their civil liberties violated.
For activist Moina Shaiq, the perceived backlash makes her a bit fearful, but she is determined to fight back.
"We cannot close our eyes, but we can tell people we need to unite and stand together against all the hate and actions that are happening in the world," Shaiq said. "What ISIS is doing is trying to divide us."