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Advocacy group says ‘anti-Muslim bias incidents’ up 82 percent in California

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A report from the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) showed “anti-Muslim bias incidents” in California surged 82 percent in 2017, during President Trump’s first year in office.

The report from CAIR California says the group received complaints of 2,259 “anti-Muslim bias incidents” last year, and added the bulk of reports had come from “travel” or “immigration/immigrants’ rights” reports tied to President Trump’s controversial travel ban preventing most nationals from five Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The report’s executive summary incorrectly stated there was an 8 percent increase in “anti-Muslim bias incidents” in 2017 compared to 2016. But a spokeswoman, Marwa Rifahie, confirmed to The Hill that the number for last year was actually an 82 percent increase from 2016.

Critics have derided the travel ban as a “Muslim ban” but the Trump administration has defended it on national security grounds.

“The implementation of the Muslim Bans and the renewed focus on profiling Muslims as national security threats funneled a substantial increase in government-sanctioned bigotry over the previous year,” CAIR’s report said.

“Troublingly, federal government agencies, which were responsible for fulfilling many of the Trump administration’s explicitly discriminatory policies towards Muslims, were the most egregious perpetrators of anti-Muslim bias incidents,” the report also said. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rifahie told The Hill that California had experienced a rise in “anti-Muslim bias incidents” in recent years, with the group responding to 1,114 incidents in 2015 and 1,239 in 2016.

But the surge in 2017 was particularly stark due to a jump in immigration-related reports to 1,014 from 475 in 2016, according to the group’s data.

CAIR released a report last month saying anti-Muslim bias incidents and hate crimes nationwide had surged 83 percent and 21 percent respectively in the second quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter.

Trump has had a troubled history with the Muslim community since his 2016 campaign began, pouncing on Democrats for refusing to say the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and initially calling for a halt to all Muslim immigration to the U.S.

Tags CAIR California Donald Trump Islamophobia
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