WASHINGTON, DC – A leading American Muslim civil rights group blamed Monday a spike in anti-Muslim attacks in 2017 on the Islamophobic rhetoric of President Donald Trump and his administration.
“Not only have anti-Muslim bias incidents continued to increase, but a greater percentage of these instances have been violent in nature, targeting American children, youth and families who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim,” said Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in a statement published Monday.
CAIR’s 2018 civil rights report finds that federal government agencies have instigated more than a third of all anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017.
Of these, 464 incidents were related to the Trump administration’s unconstitutional “Muslim Ban” executive orders.
The new report, titled “Targeted,” also shows a 15 percent increase in hate crimes in 2017 over the previous year.
“CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report provides concrete evidence that the unconstitutional Muslim Ban resulted in more Islamophobic hate and violence,” said CAIR Research and Advocacy Coordinator Zainab Arain, author of the report.
“The anti-Muslim hate incidents documented in CAIR’s report are an indictment of the Trump administration and its unconstitutional and divisive policies.”
The most prevalent triggering factor of an anti-Muslim bias incident in 2017 was the victim’s ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 32 percent of the total.
The second most frequent trigger was the perpetrator’s perception of an individual as a Muslim – irrespective of the presence or not of an identifying marker such as attire. This trigger constituted 14 percent of the total cases.
A hijab on a woman was the trigger in 13 percent of incidents. The Muslim Ban executive orders made up the fourth most frequent trigger, at 10 percent.
The report dataset is drawn primarily from the intakes CAIR conducts each year. With each case, CAIR’s civil rights and legal staff seek to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy.
Earlier this year, CAIR reported that the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes rose 91 percent in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2016.
Another report released last year by CAIR also blamed Trump for the rise in attacks targeting Muslims.
According to CAIR’s 2016 report, anti-Muslim hate incidents rose more than 40 percent compared with 2015.