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Spike in anti-Muslim incidents involving US Government agencies

28th Sep 2018

Elham Asaad Buaras

Anti-Muslim incidents and hate crimes are up 83 and 21 per cent respectively, as compared to the first quarter of 2018, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to the report, incidents involving Government agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), have also risen by 60 per cent in this time period.

Incidents in which Muslims were targeted and harassed by CBP were the second most frequent type of abuse and constituted 13 per cent of cases.

‘This is the first time that CBP has ranked within the top five,’ says the report, ‘and it is possible to attribute this to the unconstitutional Muslim ban executive order.’

The fourth most frequent type of abuse involved incidents in which the FBI harassed or otherwise inappropriately targeted an individual. There were 270 reported cases involving the FBI, ten per cent of the total number.
For the second quarter of 2018, CAIR received 1006 reports of potential bias incidents, with 431 of these reports determined to contain an identifiable element of anti-Muslim bias.

The second-quarter report (April-June) records denial of religious accommodation as the number one type of bias incident. Many of these cases have occurred at an incarceration or detention facility, making this the number one location of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the second quarter of the year.

This is the first time that detention facilities have been among the top five locations of bias incidents since CAIR has kept records of anti-Muslim discrimination.

Zainab Arain, Coordinator in CAIR’s Research and Advocacy Department, said, “We believe the wrongful treatment of inmates and detainees is connected to the overall spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and other minority communities since the election of Donald Trump as president.”

The most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2018 remains the victim’s ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 33 per cent of the total.

For the 341 cases in which a victim’s ethnicity or national origin was identified, the most frequent was Middle Eastern/North African at 39 per cent. The second most common was Black/African-American at 17 per cent. At 14 per cent, South Asian was the third most commonly targeted ethnicity.

Seventeen per cent of incidents occurred because of an individual being perceived as Muslim. A Muslim woman’s hijab was a trigger in 16 per cent of incidents. The report dataset is drawn primarily from the intakes CAIR conducts each year.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

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