CAIR Report Shows 2017 on Track to Becoming One of Worst Years Ever for Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes
(HOUSTON, TEXAS, 7/19/17) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has released an update on anti-Muslim incidents in the second quarter of 2017.
CAIR’s quarterly report indicates that the number of hate crimes in the first half of 2017 spiked 91 percent compared to the same period in 2016, which was the worst year for such anti-Muslim incidents since the civil rights organization began its current documenting system in 2013.
The number of bias incidents in 2017 also increased by 24 percent compared to the first half of 2016.
[NOTE: Bias incidents are defined as cases in which there was an identifiable element of religious discrimination. Hate crimes are criminal offenses against persons or property, or incidents that can be charged as such under relevant state or federal statute.]
“It’s clear that the political climate has resulted in normalization of bigotry and hate, leading to targeting of American Muslims and other minority groups,” said Mustafaa Carroll, CAIR-Houston Executive Director. “Based on the data in this new report, 2017 could become one of the worst years ever for anti-Muslim acts of bias.”
The most frequent type of incidents documented by CAIR in the second quarter of 2017 were harassment, defined as a non-violent or non-threatening incident. The second most common type of bias incidents were hate crimes, and have involved physical violence or property damage.
Episodes in which the complainant was questioned by the FBI or otherwise appears to have been inappropriately targeted by the agency are the third most common.
The most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017 remains the victim’s ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 32 percent of the total. Twenty percent of incidents occurred because of an individual being perceived as Muslim. A Muslim woman’s headscarf was a trigger in 15 percent of incidents.
The report dataset is drawn primarily from the intakes CAIR conducts each year. With each case, civil rights and legal staff seek to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy.
CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents and is urging Muslims to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.
CONTACT: Mustafaa Carroll, CAIR-Houston Executive Director, 713-838-2247 (office), 832-549-1042 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org; Ruth Nasrullah, CAIR-Houston Communications Coordinator, email@example.com.