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AT30: Tragedy and community in San Bernardino

by AirTalk®

AT30: Tragedy and community in San Bernardino. Bill Youngblood/SCPR

On Wednesday, December 2, 14 people were killed during a holiday party in San Bernardino in one of the most devastating mass shootings in the last 20 years.

The FBI is now investigating the attack as an act of terrorism and looking into affiliations of the two assailants behind the shooting: Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik. Both were killed during a deadly shootout following the attack.

During a special statewide live broadcast hosted by Larry Mantle and KQED’s Scott Shafer, listeners called in to discuss issues related to the incidents. Those included gun laws, religious extremism and radicalization, Islamophobia, local and national governments' response and building safety and design.

As new details emerge on the circumstances of and motivation behind the attack, San Bernardino is left with many of its own questions.

For the final AT30 event, Larry Mantle and AirTalk will travel to University of Redlands to convene a conversation* around some of these questions with the San Bernardino community and to discuss how to cope and heal after this recent tragedy.

In light of last Wednesday’s attack, we shifted away from a previously planned program on the future of the Inland Empire’s economy.


Larry Mantle, Moderator and host of AirTalk. He tweets from @LarryMantle

Jarrod Berguan, Police Chief of San Bernardino

Larry Humphreys, Executive Director of Behavioral Autism Therapies which worked frequently with the Inland Regional Center 

Amjad M. Khan, National Director of Public Affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community based in Chino, a leader at the San Bernardino County-based Baitul Hameed Mosque. He tweets from @waxeloquent

Brian Levin, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at CSU San Bernardino and professor of Criminal Justice. He tweets from @ProfLevin

Cassie MacDuff, Staff Columnist at The Press-Enterprise in Riverside. She tweets from @CassieMacDuff

Sandy Tice, Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of San Bernardino

John Walsh, University Chaplain and Faculty Member, Department of Religious Studies, University of Redlands

Here are some highlights from last night’s Final AT30 event at the University of Redlands:

Amjad M. Khan, National Director of Public Affairs for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Chino, says religious freedom for Muslims is unique to the United States, and how wearing the hijab fearlessly is part of that.

“Our country, the United States, we are more free to practice our faith as American Muslims than anywhere else in the world. I believe that. I believe when the president says that. So we can’t abandon our right to wear religious garb that identifies us as Muslim. It’s a quintessential part of who we are. We will not cower in our homes or in the supermarkets and take off our head scarf because we are partners in this common war against a perverse view of our faith.”


San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Berguan says law enforcement are taking extra precautions to protect the city's local Muslim community.

"We obviously reached out to our local mosque immediately the day of the incident. We reached out to the leaders of that mosque, we asked them about if there’s any protections or patrols that they may need, and we put that in place. And we think that they had some phone calls and some things that made them uncomfortable. Internally, we watched the city really come together. I think it took a lot of people by surprise, the amount of international and national attention that came to the city and that outpouring of support. And it’s also been nice to see the city come together as a result of that."


Larry Humphreys is executive director of Behavioral Autism Therapies, which works with the Inland Regional Center. He says despite the tragedy, there are ways the community has united even more strongly in the wake of the shooting.

“It’s a traumatic experience, but it’s one of these experiences where we were able to see two things manifest: We were able to see great police force. We were able to see the resilience inside of the [Inland] Regional Center of one of the service coordinators recording the event and actually letting the world see that. It actually just allows us to really come together as a community as well.”


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