Hiker gets anti-Muslim note for covering head with bandana in Trump's America

Authorities are probing the incident as an auto break-in and hate crime


News Desk November 23, 2016
Note asking woman to leave the nation PHOTO: INDY 100

A woman received an anti-Muslim note for covering her head with a bandana at a California park.

Nicki Pancholy set off for a hike on Monday. Upon arriving back to her car she discovered a note that had been left behind.

Moreover, her vehicle’s rear window had been smashed in and her purse taken away. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Pancholy does cover her head with a bandana — but is not Muslim.

“When I saw it, I was in shock,” she told NBC, speaking of the note.

Hate crime against Muslims rise by 67%: FBI

“That someone would feel so much hate to do this. I realise that this is the climate after this election. But I didn’t realise someone would be so ignorant and in so much pain to cause so much harm.”

The incident happened a little before noon on Monday at Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont, according to Carolyn Jones, public information supervisor for the East Bay Regional Park District.

Jones further mentioned that she was blogging and videotaping herself, saying the woman's work appeared to be part of a “peace project or something along those lines.”

Authorities are currently investigating the incident as an auto break-in and as a hate crime, Jones said. “Everyone is welcome, and this is a deplorable thing,” Jones said, “and it’s a priority for us to get to the bottom of this.”

"I did not come the next day for my hike because I was scared to come,” Pancholy told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I didn’t know who was watching me. I would like for the violence to end with me," she said.

“We are obviously very upset and saddened that this happened in our community,” said Geneva Bosques, a spokeswoman for the Fremont Police Department. “It’s very disturbing.”

These incidents are a part of the rise of hate crime ever since Donald Trump was elected President. Earlier, a teacher in Georgia said that she found a note in her classroom, telling her that her “headscarf isn’t allowed anymore.” The note also instructed her to “tie” her headscarf around her neck and “hang yourself with it.”

Jones described this week’s crime as “unusual,” and said that “hate speech is not tolerated, period.”

“We really want people to know that this is an isolated incident, a deplorable but isolated incident, as far as we can see,” she said. “And we want people to know that they’re welcome here. No one should feel intimidated coming to a park. No one should feel afraid. No one should feel unwelcome, and parks belong to everybody and everyone belongs there.”

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This article originally appeared on Indy 100.

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