NBC News reported Saturday that authorities in Portland, Oregon, have charged 23-year-old Jasmine Renee Campbell with multiple hate crimes for allegedly snatching the hijab from the head of a 24-year-old Saudi Arabian exchange student attending Portland State University on Nov. 12 at a transit stop, according to a statement by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
“Court documents allege that Campbell used the hijab and rubbed it on and across multiple exposed sexually intimate parts of her body,” the office said.
The charges also allege that Campbell attempted to use the hijab to choke the student, whose name has yet to be released by police.
The victim reportedly told police that she no longer feels safe wearing her hijab and the Oregon chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Zakir Khan spoke on the incident saying, “My heart goes out to the survivor here, who’s been deeply traumatized.”
He added that similar crimes have been on the rise since 2016 and have led to Muslims avoiding their mosques, as well as traditional dress.
Campbell faces two counts of bias crime, one count of attempted strangulation, one count of harassment and one count of criminal mischief. A warrant was issued for her arrest because she did not appear in court Friday, according to the prosecutors handling the case.
Indeed we have seen an ever-increasing rise in anti-Muslim contempt and intolerance over the years and, in light of recent events and a decidedly damning anti-Islam narrative brought on by our current president and administration, we shouldn’t expect to see tensions lessen anytime soon. It’s unfortunate and shameful, and those of us who have good sense are praying for a resolution ending in peace.