Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring delivers remarks during a town hall meeting by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) at the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center March 17, 2017, in Falls Church, Virginia. (AFP photo)
The number of Islamophobic incidents in the United States
nearly doubled in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year following the election of President Donald Trump
, according to a leading Muslim advocacy group.
More than 940 anti-Muslim hate crimes and bias incidents were reported between April and June of 2017, an increase of 91 percent, according to a report released Monday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
CAIR said so far this year, this has the worst year on record for anti-Muslim incidents since the group began its documenting system in 2013.
“The presidential election campaign and the Trump administration have tapped into a seam of bigotry and hate that has resulted in the targeting of American Muslims and other minority groups,” said Zainab Arain, a CAIR coordinator working to monitor and combat Islamophobia.
“If acts of bias impacting the American Muslim community continue as they have been, 2017 could be one of the worst years ever for such incidents.”
About 16 percent of the Islamophobic abuse involved harassment, defined by CAIR as “non-violent or non-threatening incidents.” This was followed by violent hate crimes at 15 percent.
CAIR based its figures on data gathered from reported and witnessed incidents but acknowledged that many cases are not reported, with many victims failing to notify law enforcement or community institutions.
According to CAIR’s 2016 report, anti-Muslim hate incidents rose more than 40 percent compared with 2015.
Critics say that Trump’s rhetoric and policies against Muslims before and after his election has emboldened far-right groups and promoted anti-Muslim hate crimes across the country.
Some scholars say Trump’s travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries was aimed at spreading Islamophobia and demonizing Muslims.