A Portland woman has been charged with a hate crime after allegedly snatching a hijab off of a Saudi Arabian foreign exchange student’s head. According to a report from Fox 12, officials said that 23-year-old Jasmine Renee Campbell took the hijab from the Portland State University student on Nov. 12 at the MAX Light Rail station.
An affidavit obtained by Portland Mercury revealed the details of the crime. “Defendant then placed the hijab between her legs, rubbed it against her naked vagina, then stretched out the hijab and began vaginally flossing herself with the hijab,” the document said.
A Portland police officer witnessed the encounter and when Campbell was questioned about her actions she told the officer that “she was fighting and playing around, that she wanted to be a stripper, that she wanted to show the victim that she did not have to be a Muslim, that people don’t have to be black or white, and the she wanted the victim to know that religion doesn’t define her.”
The victim stated that she feared for her safety following the incident. She also said that she did not want Campbell to return the hijab to her.
Campbell was scheduled to be arraigned on Friday, but according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, she failed to appear in court.
Fox 12 reported that they spoke to Campbell about the incident and she told them that she had no intentions of hurting anyone. Campbell blamed her actions on consuming too much alcohol and said that she suffers from a mental condition. The woman added that she recently went for treatment, which is why she missed her court appearance.
Musse Olol, the chairman of the Somali American Council of Oregon, said that Muslim women in his community are worried that their traditional garb will make them a target for hateful attacks.
“It’s very sad that this has happened. It’s something that’s been happening the last few years, especially if the target is a woman of Islam that wears the traditional scarf. Very visible. The fear, I’ve talked about it before, is real,” Olol said.
Campbell, according to Portland Mercury, is one of several Portland residents who have attacked women for wearing hijabs in public. She has been charged with second-degree bias crime, attempted strangulation, harassment and third-degree criminal mischief.
According to court documents, the defendant has replaced her hijab with a knit cap and scarf because she fears wearing her traditional clothing in public will subject her to another attack.