Victims of hate crimes recount horror stories

Life changed fast for Saif Ataya after the jetliners hijacked by terrorists slammed into the Pentagon and World Trade Center towers four months ago today.

First came the name-calling and death threats. Then the hateful graffiti and vandalism at his small San Francisco store. The breaking point, however, was when his 5-year-old daughter was called a terrorist on her
schoolyard. "I was devastated," said Ataya, an Arab American who runs a corner grocery store in the city's quiet Eureka Valley neighborhood.

Ataya's post-Sept. 11 experience is part of a disturbing trend.

According to figures recited yesterday during a hearing at San Francisco City Hall, the number of hate crimes and cases of discrimination and harassment against Arab Americans and Muslims has soared nationwide since
Sept. 11…


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