FREMONT, Calif. (KTVU) - Fahria Khan, a candidate running for school board in Fremont, said she's been the target of hateful messages on social media because she’s Muslim. Khan is one of seven candidates, including an incumbent, running for two open seats.
“This election has been really eye opening for me,” said Khan. “I thought we lived in a very accepting diverse community in Fremont.”
Khan said she received a series of anti-Muslim comments on her campaign Facebook page last week, calling her a Muslim dictator who will make kids fast and a Muslim who Fremont does not need in its city.
The messages are from a handful of different profiles. Some of them claim they're from Fremont.
One message read, “This P.O.S. will destroy your children’s mind with her brand of B.S. She is definitely non-American and will be a disaster to the school system.”
“I was actually very scared,” said Khan. “I have five kids and my number one priority is their safety.”
She's since deleted the messages reporting it to Facebook and police telling her followers that such behavior is unacceptable.
This comes as Justin Sha, who's running for Fremont City Council discovered a vandal defaced his campaign signs with swastikas and devil horns.
“I’ve lived here for 30 years,” said Fremont School Board Candidate Hiu Ng. “I've never seen anything like that.”
The hate incidences are surprising since Fremont is a minority majority population. Khan said 69 percent of families in the district are of Asian or south Asian descent and it's a city that prides itself in standing against hate.
“I reached out to her, offered my support and offered to help canvas with her,” Fremont School Board Candidate Dianne Jones.
One of khan's opponents Dianne Jones came to Khan's defense on social media. They both believe the hurtful messages are a symptom of the national discord trickling down to the local level.
“We really need to make a stand as a community,” said Khan. “We can't let this kind of behavior go unreported or unchecked. We need to show our kids especially we are better than this.”