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Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes At Highest Levels Since 9/11

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Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes At Highest Levels Since 9/11

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Members of the Muslim community pray in a mosque in Marseille during an open day weekend for mosques in France, January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

Published with permission from AlterNet.

While many well-meaning Americans would like to believe that Islamophobia is limited to certain less tolerant parts of the country or certain hateful presidential candidates, anti-Muslim hate crimes have not only increased all over the country, but are at their highest levels since the aftermath of 9/11, according to a new report. Analyzing crime data from researchers at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernadino found that hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78 percent in 2015. Attacks against those perceived as Arab rose even more.

“The rise,” the report’s authors observe, “came even as hate crimes against almost all other groups — including blacks, Hispanics, Jews, gays and whites — either declined or increased only slightly.” Using police data from 20 states, researchers found 260 instances of reported hate crimes against Muslims, which is the most since 481 were reported in the months after 9/11. As a New York Times article on the report points out, “victims are often reluctant to report attacks for fear of inflaming community tensions, and because it is sometimes difficult for investigators to establish that religious, ethnic or racial hatred was a cause.”

Among the crimes, a former Marine in Connecticut fired his rifle into the door of a local mosque. In Minneapolis, a man screaming Islam shot two men seemingly because they were wearing recognizable Muslim garb. Even in diverse New York City an imam and his assistant were shot dead during their walk home from Sunday prayers, though the authorities have yet to confirm hate crime charges. In another incident in Brooklyn, two women pushing strollers had their veils ripped off by an obscenity screaming woman.

While reactions to attacks like that of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando this summer, and earlier events in Paris and Nice were partly to blame for these attacks, it’s clear our current political climate has played a role. Brian Levin, the director of the center that conducted the study, told the Times that the “frequency of anti-Muslim violence appeared to have increased immediately after some of Mr. Trump’s most incendiary comments.”

The report found that said rhetoric has a tangible impact on crime data: “Our analysis of daily data following terrorist attacks found a tolerant statement about Muslims by a political leader was accompanied by a sharp decline in hate crime, while a less tolerant announcement was followed by a precipitous increase in both the severity and number of anti-Muslim hate crimes.”

Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.

Photo: Members of the Muslim community pray in a mosque in Marseille during an open day weekend for mosques in France, January 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files

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28 Comments

  1. Dominick Vila September 20, 2016

    The tit for tat we are seeing is, clearly, the result of ignorance, xenophobia, prejudice, and fear. Justifying the provocations is as absurd as trying to justify the retaliations. Sadly, what is happening is not unprecedented, or limited to a specific region or group of people. The anti-Islam sentiments are as widespread, as the hatred of Westerners in many Muslim countries and communities.
    The worst part of this situation is the willingness of some politicians, and entities that should know better, to promote or condone the expressions of intolerance that so often degenerate into violence, and increased tensions between people.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

      Well said!!! I commend you for your clarity of vision, eloquence, and abilities to infer. I yield to you.

      Reply
  2. itsfun September 20, 2016

    We are dealing with a religious group that has vowed to kill all infidels. Being nice to them and kissing their hind-ends will not change the fact they want to kill all infidels. Many Americans are tired of our “leaders” doing just that. ISIS must me stopped and stopped ASAP. Haven’t we been in war long enough now. Obama is the only President in history to be in a war for every year for 8 years. That alone should tell you about his lack of leadership and incompetence when dealing with others in the world.
    Americans are tired of getting stabbed, bombed, shot and whatever else the terrorists come up with, while watching our “leaders” do nothing to protect them. Is it any wonder that people are doing what they are doing to protect their families and friends.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

      We’ve also been dealing with Christian fanatics called the KKK, neo-Nazis, and various and sundry white supremacists—you know, the kind of so-called Christians you prefer to identify with.
      So get off your high horse for once in your life, look in the mirror, and you’ll see one of the primary enemies confronting what America is supposed to stand for.
      You are blind, enamored with ignorance, and show no abilities to forge alliances with anyone outside your narrow confines. Those qualities invite tensions and terror, thanks to you and your ilk.

      Reply
      1. itsfun September 20, 2016

        You want to invite terrorists into my country to kill more people. I have put my life on the line for this country what have you done? You are a whining little brat who has done absolutely nothing for this country except take the freedoms and rights others have died for.

        Reply
        1. PrecipitousDrop September 20, 2016

          You are the terrorist, FunnyHead.
          You are.

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 20, 2016

            and you are a dunghead

            Reply
          2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

            Uh, oh! Kindergarten response from itsfun

            Reply
        2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

          You’ve got to stop that excessive drinking, pal. I don’t have to invite the KKK into the country. They’re citizens in case you didn’t know.
          Do you enjoy being ignorant? If needed, I can tell you what time of day it is.
          Oh–and did I mention the media terrorists at FOX, and the big bully terrorist in a suit—Trump?

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 21, 2016

            blah blah blah blah

            Reply
    2. johninPCFL September 20, 2016

      And the Southern Baptist Convention was formed in full support of slavery and Southern state secession. Has that changed? Can Islam also change? Do American Muslims believe in the “kill all infidels” meme?
      GWB was also at war for his presidency (from 2001 until the end), and against the same group.
      30,000 Americans per year are shot and killed by Americans. That’s a ton more than the Islamic radicals have been able to kill in a few decades.

      Reply
      1. itsfun September 20, 2016

        So we need to wait until they kill more than 30,000 before we stop them?

        Reply
        1. PrecipitousDrop September 20, 2016

          Stop Muslims from what, FunnyHead?
          Stop them from living ordinary lives in the United States?

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 20, 2016

            well if it isn’t old dunghead again with more blah blah blah

            Reply
          2. Sand_Cat September 20, 2016

            I guess your name-calling is a sign of your obvious weak mind. But then, few if any people here needed anything more than your usual posts to know that.

            Reply
        2. johninPCFL September 20, 2016

          Priorities, dopey. Do we invest $trillions more in stopping 20 killings a year, or invest in stopping tens of thousands per year? After a decade of trying in Europe, AlQueda and isis together just succeeded in catching up to Tim McVeigh’s murder total.
          Can you really be that simple?

          Reply
          1. itsfun September 20, 2016

            Another user of the big 6. your name calling is a sign of your obvious weak mind

            Reply
          2. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            Telling you that priorities are important, dopey.
            Is your name itsfun? Or are you telling the world that you have a weak mind? From your comments so far, they’d believe it.

            Reply
          3. itsfun September 21, 2016

            telling you that your name calling is just a weak mind trying to express itself.

            Reply
          4. johninPCFL September 21, 2016

            So, as usual, nothing substantive. Got it.

            Reply
  3. Beethoven September 20, 2016

    Throughout human history there have been people within each society who were more tolerant, and others who were less tolerant, of those who were “different” or “outsiders”. And throughout history there have been leaders (or would-be leaders) who have encouraged tolerance, and others who have encouraged intolerance. The societies which have progressed and lasted have been those in which the preponderance of leaders encouraged and displayed tolerance of others, while those societies in which the prevailing emotion was intolerance have destroyed themselves from within.
    The only way we can reduce (we can never eliminate entirely) hate crimes is for us to choose leaders who encourage and practice tolerance, and for those of us who ourselves practice tolerance to ignore and ostracize those who hate “the others”. Because we believe in the doctrine of free speech, we cannot demand that the media ignore hate crimes, but the less publicity the haters get, the more marginal and irrelevant they become, and many of the hate crimes are committed by people who revel in the notoriety it brings and the opportunity to show to society that they are important.

    Reply
  4. Girlpower September 20, 2016

    It baffles me how anyone proclaiming to be a Christian can not see that trump and his alt-right minions are leading them into a dark ugly place that no true believer would go. Have they so easily forgotten the saying ” what would Jesus do ” ? No matter how much evil persecution was shown them, the early Christians survived by using love not hate! In the end I truly believe the only path forward is for all to realize that LOVE TRUMPS HATE.

    Reply
  5. Jon September 20, 2016

    Trump denies that any of his supporters are deplorable. He calls them hardworking patriotic Americans. Then he stirs them up with hateful vitriolic rhetoric inciting violence against those Trump identifies as enemies of America. Words have consequences. Even a moron like Trump knows that. Just as the Trump campaign gleefully exploits every human tragedy and misfortune, they pat themselves on the back for their success whenever a hate crime is committed against the minorities he has said are our enemies. Sick. Sad.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

      Too bad that hard-working and patriotic don’t apply to Trump.
      As Pogo famously said—“We have met the enemy, and he is us”.

      Reply
      1. Jon September 20, 2016

        Perfect summary. I had forgotten about the Pogo quote.

        Reply
  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

    Unfortunately, extremist sentiments in America have been woven into America’s fabric since the Pilgrims’ initial early morning ambush on a Native American tribe resulting in the deaths of innocent men women and children; another scheme of the early settlers was to offer small-pox-infested wool blankets to certain Native Americans to help in the early going process of “ridding the land of pests’. No need to talk about vigilante groups who rampaged black neighborhoods in a Florida town, and elsewhere in Tulsa, OK, in the 1st half of the 20th Century.
    And now, we have so-called Americans carrying out atrocities against Muslims in general simply because a handful of Muslims on American soil committed criminal acts.
    Certain “Christians” often take pride in Jesus saying to turn the other cheek as a sign of progress beyond the Jewish injunction of “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”.
    Yet these same Christians are willing to conveniently ignore this principle of Jesus, and gleefully move backwards to the old Jewish way of justice—a system by the way, that was necessary given the times of Moses and the lack of security and judicial systems.
    All of this and the story above further illustrates how a large number of Americans are content with being hypocrites, with FOX and Trump being joint “Hypocrites-in-Chief”.

    Reply
  7. PrecipitousDrop September 20, 2016

    And yet we wonder how US Muslim citizens become “radicalized.”

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 20, 2016

      Right! When anyone angers hornets and stands around to watch, he or she is going to get stung. When the Irish got fed up with the English who usurped their land and made them tenants in their own country, and when said English of the time of the Great famine refused to provide adequate food aid to the homeless tenants, the door was opened for the IRA to come into existence.

      And now, we’re repeating the same scenario, but the ignorant on the Right refuse to read history books, refuse to acquaint themselves with other cultures, to learn and about their struggles, and refuse to learn the lessons from past mistakes.

      Reply

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