NEW YORK – The Commission on Human Rights of New York, USA, has found that Muslims beside other religious minorities of the city have experienced widespread bias, discrimination, harassment and assaults in recent years.
However, “70% of the respondents didn’t report the incidents to police in fear that they wouldn’t be taken seriously.”
The study surveyed 3,100 Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish and Sikh New Yorkers who described incidents in 2016 and 2017.
Some of the key findings was that almost two in five (38.7%) told of verbal harassment. Also, some 8.8% reported physical assault.
The report concluded that one in six (16.6%) have experienced racial, religious or ethnic discrimination at work or while seeking a job.
One of the female Muslim participants, Souad Kirama, informed that she was physically assaulted at a Brooklyn restaurant last year by teenage girls who called her a terrorist.
“People were just watching me being beaten up and being called a (expletive) terrorist,” she said at a press conference.
“Never in my life have I seen this kind of violence and aggressiveness. I am a proud New Yorker and I am thankful. It’s critical that everyone in New York City stands up against discrimination whenever and wherever they see it,” Kirama continued.
The commission urged the creation of a community-based referral network, along with bystander intervention training. It said more money should go to community outreach and legal help so minorities understand their rights.
Moreover, the commission started an ad campaign on social media and in 15 ethnic media outlets to counter xenophobia.
According to a new estimate by Pew Research Center, “there were about 3.45 million Muslims of all ages living in the U.S. in 2017, and that Muslims made up about 1.1% of the total U.S. population.”
Since the 9/11 attacks on the United States, many Muslims have complained of facing discrimination and stereotypes in the society because of their Islamic attires or identities.
Facing growing attacks on Muslims, CAIR has launched a new website, Islamophobia.org, to monitor and challenge the growing anti-Muslim bigotry.
In 2014, CAIR published “Know Your Rights and Responsibilities” pocket guide that tells American Muslims to report any actual knowledge of criminal activity without being asked by law enforcement authorities.