Islamophobic incidents rise in US as Covid pandemic subsides

By Hamed Chapman


London (The Muslim News): Discrimination against Muslims in the US has increased by 9% since 2020, according to the total number of complaints received by the country’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation.

In its latest report released Monday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) details more than 6,700 civil rights complaints nationwide in the past year, the highest number ever recorded since it was set up in 1994 and coincides with a slow subsidence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 6,720 complaints catalogue a range of issues including immigration and travel, workplace discrimination, denial of public accommodations, law enforcement and government overreach, hate and bias incidents, incarceree rights, school incidents, and related to free speech and the Israel boycott campaign.

The report, entitled ‘Still Suspect: The Impact of Structural Islamophobia’, also listed a 28% increase in hate and bias incident complaints, which it says “reinforces the fact that many local law enforcement agencies are drastically under reporting, or completely failing to report hate crimes to the FBI’s national database.”

“This is an alarming sign that Islamophobia is persistent and systemic in society and government policy. While we recognize that we’ve made progress as a society in terms of addressing social injustices, our report shows that Islamophobia continues to pose the biggest threat American Muslims are facing,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said.

“It is essential that the federal government to address the anti-Muslim bigotry in their own policies. Until concrete steps are taken, Islamophobia will continue to impede the civil rights and freedoms of American Muslims,” Awad added.

The new civil rights report seeks to illustrate the impact of severe structural and interpersonal Islamophobia in the US and includes 679 documented complaints pertaining to law enforcement and government overreach, including about suspected terrorists, which ‘falsely stigmatizes hundreds of thousands of people.’

In a statement, author of the report Huzaifa Shahbaz said “the rising number of complaints of Islamophobia should be an alarming call for lawmakers to take the threat of anti-Muslim bigotry seriously.”

It demonstrates the “need for continued vigilance in defense of civil rights for American Muslims and members of all other minority groups.” Islamophobia is a “national emergency that needs urgent federal action to ensure the safety and security of American Muslims,” Shahbaz said.

[Map of US/Creative Commons]

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