Civil Rights Groups Monitoring Attacks On Minorities Since Election Day

Civil Rights Groups Monitoring Attacks On Minorities Since Election Day

By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) – A U.S. Muslim civil rights group said on Thursday it was monitoring reports of several incidents targeting Muslims in the United States since Republican Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday and called on the president-elect to denounce the attacks.

The reports included at least two assaults on women in Islamic head scarves, as well as racist graffiti and bullying of immigrant children, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and other civil rights groups.

“It’s the inevitable result of the mainstreaming of Islamophobia we’ve seen in recent months with the presidential campaign,” CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in a phone interview. “Unfortunately, it really is up to Donald Trump to repudiate this kind of bigotry.”

Trump’s campaign could not be reached for comment.

During the campaign, Trump called for banning Muslims from entering the country for security reasons. The wealthy businessman, who won his White House bid with strong support from white voters, has made calls for unity since the election.

Hooper said the president-elect’s supporters appeared to be getting a different message.

A female student in a hijab at San Diego State University was assaulted and robbed on Wednesday, the university said. The assailants were reported to have made comments to the victim in support of Trump and hurled anti-Muslim insults at her, the school said in a statement, adding the case was being investigated as a hate crime.

At San Jose State University in California, a man on Wednesday pulled at the head scarf of woman walking in a parking garage, the university said in a statement.

The reports came as demonstrators protested Trump’s victory in cities across the country, blasting his campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and women.

Police in Louisiana said a woman made up a story about being assaulted near the University of Louisiana Lafayette campus and having her hijab removed by two men.

There were also reports of Trump supporters being targeted by ugly rhetoric and worse.

In a video posted on social media, at least two people can be seen beating a man at an intersection as others are heard yelling: “You voted Trump” and “Don’t vote Trump.”

Chicago police spokesman Frank Giancamilli confirmed the 50-year-old man was attacked by five people on Wednesday following a traffic altercation in the city, but said police had not determined the motive for the attack.

A Palm Bay, Florida, high school student carrying a Trump campaign sign was punched in the face by another student during gym class, local media reported.

On social media, many people described threats and insults against minorities they said were made by apparent Trump supporters.

Spray-painted messages such as “Black Lives Don’t Matter and Neither Does Your Votes” on a wall in North Carolina and a swastika and “Make America White Again” on a baseball dugout in New York went viral.

Civil rights leaders told a news conference in Washington on Thursday they were hearing of an increase in bullying incidents against children from racial and religious minority groups.

Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group, said he had not seen such a rash of hate crimes in the United States since Barack Obama was elected America’s first black president in 2008.

A similar wave occurred when Britain voted in June to leave the European Union, Potok said.

“I don’t really expect it to go on for four years,” he said. “In the case of Brexit, it calmed down after a couple of weeks.”

(Reporting and writing by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Additional reporting by Emily Flitter and Joseph Ax in New York, Julia Harte in Washington, Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Ben Klayman in Detroit, Tim McLaughlin in Chicago and Letitia Stein in Tampa, Fla.; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney)


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