Hate Crimes in the Alamo City
On a rainy morning in his leafy San Antonio neighborhood, Tahir Khan dashes from his home over to his neighbor’s house. Kenneth Malone greets him with a smile and a handshake. But the conversation soon turns sour as the two men recount in shock the hate crime that Khan and his family experienced the previous week.
“This is shocking. My mind was not accepting these things. In this neighborhood?” Khan said. “I can’t believe it. It is very disturbing for us.”
Khan and his family have lived here for nearly 20 years. They are originally from Pakistan, but became American citizens years ago.
They are also Muslims. And they believe that is the reason their house was spray-painted with the word “Terrorists” on the Fourth of July.
Later that same day, firecrackers were set off on their doorstep. They thought someone was shooting at the house. Police have not made any arrests but are investigating it as a hate crime.
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Neighbor Kenneth Malone says it’s a first.
“I can’t think of another incident of this nature in the 28 years I’ve been here,” Malone said. “And that’s why it came as such a shock.”
Malone and others hope that it was the work of ignorant teen-agers. But as far city officials are concerned, it doesn’t matter.
“In San Antonio, we just don’t accept this behavior. I don’t care who does it,” said City Councilman Reed Williams, whose district includes the neighborhood where the Khans live.