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Anti-Muslim hate crime in US rose by 15 percent in 2017: Report

A civil rights report visualizes anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States

A report has attributed a rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the US partly to the policies and rhetoric of US President Donald Trump, according to a study released on Monday.

new report by advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) finds that anti-Muslim bias in the United States has increased considerably in recent years.

The 2017 rise is lower than the 44 percent spike the previous year, but worrisome.

The group recorded 300 U.S. hate crimes targeting Muslims last year, ranging from the June beating of a Muslim man in the Bronx borough of New York City by attackers who called him a terrorist to a November incident when a Muslim family’s Kansas restaurant was burned down. That was up from 260 in 2016.

(Chart: Council on American-Islamic Relations)
(Chart: Council on American-Islamic Relations)

The new report, titled “Targeted,” blames the Trump administration’s travel bans for fueling the problem. Nationwide, there were 2,599 anti-Muslim incidents reported to CAIR; 464 involved federal agencies targeting Muslims in incidents linked to federal travel bans, the report says.

“This increase in anti-Muslim incidents by the federal government is an almost unprecedented level of government hostility toward an American religious minority,” Soofia Tahir, fund development director at CAIR’s New Jersey chapter, said during a press conference at its South Plainfield office. “This in and of itself goes against our shared American values of religious freedom.”

What the report found:

  • The 300 recorded anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2017 were up from 260 in 2016.
  • Last year’s report recorded a 44 percent annual increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2016.
  • CAIR’s lawyers investigated 5,650 reported anti-Muslim incidents and found that just under half were authentic.
  • Those 2,599 incidents of anti-Muslim bias in 2017 were an increase of 17 percent from 2016.
  • Over a third of the incidents involved federal agencies, representing “an almost unprecedented level of government hostility toward a religious minority.”
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