A California woman was caught on video insulting and then attacking a group of Muslims who were praying in a park near San Francisco.
Rasheed Albeshari posted the video Sunday shortly after the incident at Lake Chabot. He said the woman, identified as Denise Slader, a state employee, hit him with an umbrella and threw her cup of coffee in his face after screaming insults at them.
In the video, which you can watch above, Slader can be seen telling the Muslims, “the people you tortured are going to be in eternity in heaven. You are deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed. Nothing but hate.”
Slader, 50, was approached by a park police officer who told her she was being “inappropriate.” Slader told her, “this is inappropriate, you are right, for someone to tape record me.” Albeshari can then be heard saying, “this lady was talking about my God,” and Slader then moves toward him, slapping toward the camera and saying “get out.”
Slader was not arrested.
Here’s what you need to know about Slader and the incident:
1. She Allegedly Said ‘Allah Is Satan’ & ‘the Quran Is Evil’
Before the video started, Slader shouted at the men “your God is Satan, “Allah is Satan” and “the Quaran is evil,” Carolyn Jones, an East Regional Park District spokeswoman, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Albeshari said his three friends were finishing their prayers when the woman confronted them. She called them murderers, he told Arab American News.
He said he didn’t expect to be targeted for his religion in San Francisco.
“That’s one of the main reasons why we love the Bay area. It’s people from all around the planet,” Albeshari told . “I never thought this would ever happen to me here. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling.”
2. The District Attorney Will Decide Whether Slader Will Be Charged
The incident was investigated by the East Bay Regional Park District, whose officer could be seen in the video, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. They took statements from everyone involved, the newspaper reports.
The case has been passed on to the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, which will decide if any charges will be filed.
“This is a very busy popular park in a diverse area,” park district spokeswoman Carolyn Jones told the Chronicle. “It’s unfortunate this happened. People should be able to enjoy the park in peace. This is unfortunate especially in light of what’s happening nationally right now.”
Albeshari told the San Jose Mercury-News, “”We’ve gone there for months. We’ve spend a long time in that park, done our thing. Never, ever any problems.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for Council on American Islamic Relations, told the Mercury News, “I assume there will be charges. She has the right to be an anti-Muslim bigot, but she doesn’t have the right to assault someone. And it looks to me, just from the video, like she threw something at them and hit them.”
3. She Works as a Program Technician for the State Corrections Department
Slader works as a program technician for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. She has worked there for 10 years. The department is also investigating the incident internally.
Luis Patino, a spokesman for the department, told the San Francisco Chronicle the agency “expects its employees to abide by a code of conduct that includes respecting the rights of others regardless of personal characteristics including ancestry and religion.”
Her employment status has not been changed since the incident, he said.
“It is absolutely unconscionable that a government employee … would yell abusive xenophobic statements at innocent American Muslims in a park,” Arsalan Iftikhar, of the Institute for Social Policy, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Every American has a first amendment right to exercise their religion without being verbally assaulted and I hope that state corrections officials will adequately reprimand this officer for her hateful language.”
4. A Person at Her House Said ‘Have You Been Watching the News Lately? Do You Know What’s Going On?’
Slader, who lives in Castro Valley, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
A man who answered the phone at her home earlier in the day told the San Francisco Chronicle she was not available to speak, but said, “Oh well, deal with it,” about her actions in the video. “Have you been watching the news lately? Do you know what’s going on? Don’t you have better things to do?”
5. Several Anti-Muslim Incidents Have Occurred Since the San Bernardino & Paris Attacks
There have been several anti-Muslim incidents reported in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino shooting terror attacks, according to police and organizations like the Council on American Islamic Relations.
“We call on local and federal authorities to investigate this attack as a hate crime and urge American Muslims to remain vigilant and take extra safety measures,” CAIR-NY Director of Operations Sadyia Khalique said after a Muslim shop owner was attacked. “The lives of American Muslims have been placed in danger by the rising anti-Muslim hysteria in our nation and by the inflammatory rhetoric used by a number of national public figures.”
The shop owner said the attacker told him “I’ll kill Muslims.”
CAIR has also warned about a possible increase in Islamophobic incidents in the wake of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country. CAIR praised President Obama for speaking out against Islamaphobia during his address to the nation Sunday night.
“In light of the recent hate incidents targeting the American Muslim community and the hate-filled rhetoric we hear from a number of public figures, we welcome President Obama’s strong statement calling for national unity and rejecting anti-Muslim ‘suspicion and hate,'” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “The president was clear in disassociating Islam from the thugs of ISIS, who are the common enemy of all Americans and of all Muslims worldwide.”
Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of this story, a quote from the San Francisco Chronicle inaccurately described Slader as a state corrections officer. She is an administrative employee for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.