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The Bar Association of San Francisco Condemns Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Bigotry

December 16, 2015- San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is deeply troubled by the rise in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry and violence.  Last week, CNN reported that attacks on mosques in the U.S. were at three times the level of last year, with events ranging from gun shots fired, vandalism, death threats, protests, and intimidation of community members.  The Washington-based non-profit Council on Islamic Relations told the Los Angeles Times that Muslim women wearing headscarves have been the subject of dozens of bias attacks in the last few weeks alone.  In Cincinnati, a driver tried to run down a young Muslim woman with his car, while in New York, a Muslim girl was attacked by three middle school classmates who called her “ISIS” and tried to tear off her hijab. Even here in the Bay Area, we have seen anti-Muslim bias on display. Just last week, a woman shouted anti-Muslim slurs and threw coffee at Muslim men praying at Lake Chabot Regional Park. 

To treat others in this way denies fundamental freedoms and rights that bind us together in our diverse society.  Our Muslim and Arab-American neighbors deserve the same liberty, security, and freedom to practice their faith as any other American.

As an organization of lawyers and legal professionals, BASF believes now is the time to stand up and stand with our Muslim and/or Arab-American neighbors and make clear that this hatefulness must end.  BASF condemns the demonization of Muslims and Arab-Americans, especially by political leaders, cable news broadcasters, social media, and influencers of all kinds, which directly and powerfully foments hate and violence.  BASF urges its members to use the platforms they have to speak out, and to offer assistance to organizations working in affected communities. 

Further, BASF stands with those legal and other organizations who are working to prevent anti-Muslim violence and hate and to provide resources to those affected, including the South Asian Bar Association of Northern California, the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, and the Hispanic National Bar Association.

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The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of over 8,000 attorneys, law students and legal professionals in the Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF is one of the largest and most dynamic metropolitan bar associations in the U.S., with a long and distinguished record of community action, public service and service to the legal profession.