Calls for unity after possible hate crime

Kayse Jama examines a website that contains statistics on hate crimes across the United States. (KATU Photo)

Kayse Jama keeps a close eye on the stats.

The Executive Director for the Center for Intercultural Organizations uses a special website to track all hate crimes across the U.S and says lately he's seen a troubling trend.

"When you see that it's frightening. It's really frightening," Jama said.

Jama says more and more minorities, especially Muslims, are targeted. In fact, just recently we've learned of two cases in the metro area.

In Hood River, Kozen Sampson, a Buddhist monk, says he was attacked after he was apparently mistaken for a Muslim. Police are calling it a possible hate crime.

Dan Zidan, who identifies as Muslim, says someone used a racial slur and indicated he had a gun on him during a dispute over a parking spot at Costco.

Jama attributes this rise in racial tensions to remarks made on the presidential campaign trail. Now he's calling on people of all faiths to come together to support those in the Muslim community.

"I think the larger community should stand in solidarity with the Muslim community. Go visit their local mosques. Get to know your Muslim neighbors, and feel supported and also feel they are protected.

Jama says at the end of the day we are all human and once we get to know each other we'll discover we have much more in common than we ever realized.

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