Hate crimes are becoming a common place across the US. But what happened in Northeast Portland is horrifying for a community that is slowly coming out of the shock victory of Donald Trump, who promised to ship Muslims out of the US and ban their entry.
While his bonhomie with the kings and emirs of the Arab world is becoming clear now, the impact of his sloganeering during the year long election period seems to have emboldened the right wingers across the US.
Two Muslim women, one of them wearing hijab or face veil were attacked by a 35 year old man on a light train. He was yelling racial slurs against them and the Muslim community. When two people tried to intervene, he stabbed them, leaving both of the dead. Another person, who tried to save the two men from stabbing, was also
The attack took place at about 16:30 local time (00:30 GMT) on a train at Hollywood Transit Station, police said in a statement. One of the victims died at the scene, the other died in hospital.
A report in OregonLive says that authorities have booked Jeremy Joseph Christian, him into a Multnomah County jail on suspicion of aggravated murder and attempted murder. The same report goes on to add that the two men were killed on a MAX train when they tried to intervene as another man yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim, including one wearing a hijab, police said.
Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson while detailing the incident said that a third passenger who tried to help was also stabbed, but is expected to survive. Christian criminal record includes felony robbery, kidnapping and weapon convictions, records show.
Sgt Pete Simpson said “Suspect was on the train and he was yelling and ranting and raving a lot of different things, including what would be characterised as hate speech or biased language,” said Sgt Pete Simpson.
He went on to add, “In the midst of his ranting and raving, some people approached him, appeared to try to intervene with his behaviour. Some of the people that he was yelling at, they were attacked viciously by the suspect, resulting in the two deaths and one injury.”
In the meantime the biggest Muslim civil rights group in the US, The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged President Trump to speak out against increasing Islamophobia in the US. It accused the president of exacerbating the trend with his statements and policies.