Authorities say that on November 12, at about 7:20 p.m., Campbell and the unidentified victim were waiting for a light-rail train at a stop in Portland when Campbell allegedly decided, as she would later explain to police, that she wanted to educate the Muslim woman about not being defined by her religion.
Campbell allegedly tore the woman’s hijab, a head covering sometimes worn by Muslim women as a sign of modesty, off of her head and then attempted to choke her with it. The victim was able to push Campbell away, but Campbell then allegedly took off all of her clothes except for her jacket and began rubbing the garment across her breasts and between her legs, making contact with her genitals. She then allegedly mocked and made fun of Muslims, according to the criminal complaint against her.
The victim, who is a student at Portland State University, didn’t know Campbell.
Fortunately, witnesses called police, and Campbell was arrested.
Campbell was indicted by a grand jury December 18 on two counts of second-degree bias crime, attempted strangulation, harassment and third-degree criminal mischief. She was due in court on Friday, but she allegedly failed to turn up, and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Disturbing story here. This is Jasmine Campbell. She’s charged with a bias crime following an attack on a foreign exchange student at @Portland_State. Campbell is accused of ripping off the student’s hijab before rubbing it all over her body. pic.twitter.com/r1VrgFUous
— Mike Benner (@MikeBennerKGW) January 3, 2020
According to court documents, Campbell may be homeless.
As for the victim, she says that she no longer wears a hijab in public because of fears of another such incident. Instead, she covers her head with a knit cap or a scarf, such as can be seen on women who aren’t necessarily Muslim, so as to be able to cover her head yet not broadcast her religion.
A representative for Oregon’s Muslim community, Zakir Khan, who is the Oregon board chairperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, mourned that such a hate crime could take place in Portland.
“This is a really rough time for Muslim women. We’re seeing other attacks against Muslim women who wear the hijab. They should be freely able to exercise their religion, just like anyone else,” Khan said, noting that hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise these past few years.
Indeed, as BBC News reported in 2018, hate crimes, including those directed toward Muslims, have increased, going back as far as 2015.