HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — You don’t have to look very far to find a report of a hate crime in Maryland.
In May at a mosque in Silver Spring, a note was left in the mailbox offering a bounty for slaughtered Muslims.
A year earlier in Glenelg, four teens were convicted for tagging their school with hate crime graffiti.
In Howard County, the Council on American Islamic Relations taught a crowd how to intervene when a hate crime is happening.
“Our goal is to empower our communities to safely intervene so that when something does happen, when they witness it, they are able to safely deescalate the situation and help the people who are the target of these incidents,” said Dr. Zainab Chadrhy with CAIR.
College student Misbah Farooqi was one of the attendees hoping to learn what to do in such a situation.
“How I use those skills that I learn tonight and apply that when I go back to campus or just in my day to day life as well,” Farooqi said.
Increasingly, intervention does not mean engaging the person making the threats.
“Our philosophy is that you only talk to the person who is being targeted, you don’t talk to the person who is being the harasser because we want to deescalate what we’re doing today,” said Kit Bonson with the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition.
Organizers said many people have the good will to intervene but just don’t know what to do.
“We as a society have a choice: we can either stay quiet can accept that as a status quo or we can resist that, and doing this training is one form of resistance,” Chadrhy said.