Elham Asaad Buaras
Eight out of 10 Americans (82 percent) believe Muslims in the US face discrimination – with 57 percent saying they face “a lot” of discrimination, according to the latest Pew Research.
The 2016 Election survey carried out from November 30 to December 5 showed that the majority of Americans also say that homosexuals and blacks (76 percent), Hispanics (70 percent) and women (60 percent) face at least some discrimination.
Fewer Americans say Jews (44 percent), evangelical Christians (42 percent) or whites (38 percent) face “a lot” or “some” discrimination.
The shares saying there is “a lot” of discrimination against Muslims and blacks have increased since 2013. At that time, when asked a somewhat different version of the question, 45% said there was a lot of discrimination against Muslim Americans; today, 57% see a lot of discrimination against Muslims in society.
The research also shows discrepancies in perceptions based on political affiliation with Democrats being much more likely than Republicans to say Muslims (89 percent), blacks (88 percent), gays and lesbians (86 percent) and Hispanics (82 percent) face a lot or some discrimination in society today. By contrast, Republicans are somewhat more likely than Democrats to see discrimination against evangelical Christians and whites.
Over the last three years, the public has become more likely to say blacks and Muslims face a lot of discrimination in society.
The increased perception of Muslims being discriminated against is backed by recent events.
An advocacy group reported that nearly 900 incidents of hate and intolerance were recorded across the US in the days following November’s presidential election, mainly targeting minority groups in the country. “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a tremendous, tremendous undercount,” said Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.
The group recorded almost 900 cases of harassment and intimidation in the 10 days following Donald Trump’s election, which was cheered by white supremacists and others fired up by his rhetoric disparaging immigrants, Muslims, and women. Most incidents involved graffiti or verbal harassment, although a small number were violent physical altercations. Slightly more than half of the cases were anti-immigrant or anti-black. The incidents were reported in nearly every state in the country, led by California with 99 cases.
The FBI also reported that hate crimes against Muslims in the US surged 67 percent in 2015 – the highest level since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. The bureau’s Uniform Crime Report documented 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes, up from 154 in 2014.