Newport Beach town hall addresses acts of hate against Muslims, Jews

Monday, January 30, 2017
OC town hall addresses acts of hate against Islamic, Jewish communities
Members of Islamic, Jewish and Christian communities gathered in Newport Beach to discuss how to combat the rise in acts of hate.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- An interfaith town hall meeting in Newport Beach on Sunday addressed the acts of hate against the Islamic and Jewish communities of Orange County.

The town hall was an opportunity for Jews, Muslims and Christians to come together and talk about ways to combat hate speech and hate crimes.

The gathering came just two days after President Donald Trump issued a travel ban on people from several Muslim majority countries.

Some of the Muslims in attendance said they had experienced a rise in Islamophobia since the November election.

Their Jewish friends said they've felt the treatment of Muslims in America was beginning to resemble how Jews were treated in Nazi Germany.

Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing and Muslim Women's Empowerment Council President Anila Ali were among the speakers at the event.

"Crazy, political rhetoric that has caused fear in the community. Some of the anxiety and concern that you're feeling today is no match to the strength of community and the resiliency of our partnership," Downing said.

"Hard working, patriotic Muslims like me are feeling displaced and under attack because of our faith. I'm a Muslim. I'm an American. I'm a woman and I'm proud of it," Ali said.

As part of the town hall, the floor was opened up for a question and answer session.

The goal of the event was to strengthen interface partnerships and also learn what resources were available from various groups and law enforcement.