Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Hepner Hall at San Diego State University. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego State University students will rally against Islamophobia Monday afternoon in response to an attack on a Muslim student last week that was being investigated as a hate crime.

A man ripped off a young woman’s head scarf while pushing her and spewing racist epithets in a parking lot on the east side of campus Thursday afternoon, according to campus police. The unidentified assailant was described as a white in his 20s, thin, black-haired, roughly 5 feet 11, with green or hazel eyes.

A statement from the local Council on American-Islamic Relations said the non-injury attack “may be related to the backlash against the American Muslim community since the recent terror attacks in Paris.”

At 12:30 p.m. Monday, SDSU’s Muslim Student Association will host a rally at Hepner Hall in which members will call on witnesses to the attack to come forward to help lead investigators to the suspect. They were also urging their fellow students to “create a more inclusive campus climate by promoting tolerance and acceptance between different cultures and religions.”

A list of the group’s demands, which has been posted to its Facebook page, also included a zero tolerance policy for Islamophobic rhetoric and actions on campus; mandatory bystander training for faculty, staff and students; more coursework on Islam in an effort to alleviate misconceptions toward Muslim students; and for administrators to “address, alleviate and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target people of color, women and all marginalized students on campus.”

The student association also asked government officials to “recognize that the dehumanization of refugees and scapegoating of the Muslim faith enables an environment for attacks like this to occur,” according to the statement.

—City News Service