As Pasadena police investigated the source of flyers filled with antisemitic theories regarding COVID-19 that were distributed in a part of the city, an Islamic civil liberties group spoke out Monday against the hate speech.
The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it supports the Jewish community and looks forward to arrests in the case.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an increase in hate and blame directed at marginalized communities. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, the Asian-American community and all minorities who have been unjustly targeted by irrational fear and bigotry,” said CAIR-LA Deputy Executive Director Masih Fouladi.
The flyers contained propaganda-style hate speech linking the COVID pandemic to the Jewish people and were stuffed in plastic bags and left on driveways in a four-block area of the city, according to Pasadena police Lt. Anthony Burgess.
They were found on Washington Boulevard, Mentor Avenue, Catalina Avenue and Wilson Avenue, according to Pasadena city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian.
Burgess told the Los Angeles Times that the flyers named several agencies, federal health and corporate officials and claimed “every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish.”
The Pasadena City Council released a statement saying it was standing firm against hate speech of any kind.
“The distribution of antisemitic flyers in Pasadena and other Southern California communities over the weekend is abhorrent and totally antithetical to the values of our city and its residents,” the city said in its statement.
“Our thoughts are with our residents and those hurt by these disgusting acts. We know Pasadena residents of all faiths will stand together and speak out against hatred in all its forms.”
A similar hate incident was being investigated in Beverly Hills, where more than 200 antisemitic COVID-19-related flyers were distributed throughout the southwest side of the city.
CAIR-LA recently launched the Center for the Prevention of Hate and Bullying to proactively address a growing number of hate incidents targeting people of faith as well as Black, Asian American Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and immigrant residents.
Anyone with information on who was behind the flyers was asked to call Pasadena police at 626-744-4241.