US anti-Muslim incidents surged in 2023: CAIR report News
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US anti-Muslim incidents surged in 2023: CAIR report

Complaints of anti-Muslim bias in the US reached a record high in 2023, according to a report released Tuesday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The civil rights group received 8,061 complaints of anti-Muslim incidents last year, marking the highest number of complaints reported in the group’s 30-year history.

The report found that complaints increased by 56 percent in 2023 from the previous year and that immigration and asylum, employment discrimination and hate crimes and incidents were the highest reported categories. CAIR also stated that nearly half the complaints received in 2023 were reported during the final three months of the year, finding that the primary force behind the rise in Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine last October. The group stated, “Employers, universities, and schools were among the central actors suppressing free speech by those who sought to vocally oppose Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza and call attention to Palestinian human rights.” CAIR drew attention to the stabbing death of six-year-old Palestinian-American Wadea Al-Fayoume in October.

The numbers are consistent with other reports across the country of an increase in anti-Muslim bias. New Jersey data, for example, showed such bias increased by 75 percent in 2023. Other nations have also reported surges in anti-Muslim, as well as anti-semitic, hate crimes following the escalation of violence between Israel and Hamas. Toronto has increased the number of police officers outside mosques during Ramadan due to a rise in hate crimes, and the UK allocated £117 million in security funding to its Muslim community due to a surge in anti-Muslim hate cases.

CAIR issued multiple recommendations in its report, including that public officials, corporate leaders and educational figures “respect free speech on Palestine and the value of human life.” The group also insisted the US government tie police funding to the submission of hate crime data and asked state and local governments to continue the trend of accommodating Muslim religious practices.