U.S. anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 15
percent in 2017: advocacy group
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[April 24, 2018]
BOSTON (Reuters) - Hate crimes
targeting U.S. Muslims rose 15 percent in 2017, the second year of
increases, according to a study released on Monday by advocacy group the
Council on American-Islamic Relations.
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.
CAIR attributed the increase in part to the policies of U.S. President
Donald Trump, particularly restrictions on immigration from
"There has been nothing like this ever, for the Muslim community to be
regularly the punching bag of the president of the United States," said
Gadeir Abbas, an attorney with CAIR.
Responding by email to a request for comment, White House spokeswoman
Kelly Love said, "The Trump Administration stands for the rule of law
and abhors all forms of lawlessness including hate crimes."
"President Trump has repeatedly condemned violence, racism and hate
As a candidate, Trump promised "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims
entering the United States." Soon after taking office he signed an
executive order banning most travelers from several Muslim-majority
countries. A revised version of that order, which also included North
Korea, took effect late last year.
Trump drew criticism in November for retweeting anti-Muslim videos
posted by a far-right British political group.
The 300 hate crimes were a slice of the 2,599 incidents CAIR logged as
representing anti-Muslim bias in 2017, a figure that was up 17 percent
from 2016. The larger total included harassment, employment
discrimination and times when Muslims were subjected to what CAIR
recorded as biased treatment by government agencies including the
Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs and Border Protection.
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A Muslim man kneels on Broadway Ave. as he takes part in afternoon
prayers during an "I am Muslim Too" rally in Times Square,
Manhattan, New York, U.S. February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo
More than one-third of the incidents involved federal agencies, CAIR
said, adding, "This represents an almost unprecedented level of
government hostility toward a religious minority within the United
CAIR said its lawyers investigated 5,650 reported anti-Muslim incidents
and concluded that slightly less than half of them were authentic.
The group's count of hate crimes targeting Muslims is lower than the
FBI's, which recorded 307 anti-Islamic hate crimes in 2016, the most
recent year for which it has released data.
Last year's report measured a 44 percent increase in hate crimes into
2016 from 2015.
(Reporting by Scott Malone)
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