Anti-Muslim hate groups increase in 2016: report

Anti-Muslim hate groups increase in 2016: report
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The number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the country has increased dramatically over the past year, according to a civil rights group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found in its annual census of hate groups and extremist organizations that the number of hate groups in the country increased from 892 in 2015 to 917 in 2016.

The number of anti-Muslim groups rose from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016 — a 197 percent increase.

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"There is no question that the organizations that aligned themselves with the Trump campaign saw their ranks grow, their prominence grow and their online readership grow," said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, according to NBC News.

The SPLC also found, though, that the number of Ku Klux Klan groups has fallen.

"Not every sector of the movement did well this year," Beirich told NBC News.

"Klan groups fell by a bit of a chunk, but most of the groups that we consider white nationalist that are Trump-aligned for the most part held steady."

In December 2015, President Trump called for a "total and complete shutdown" of Muslim immigration to the U.S. He later softened his stance, saying he wanted to target people from terror-prone nations.
 
After assuming office, Trump issued an order barring refugees and immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Immigration from those countries is barred for 90 days, while general refugee resettlement has been halted for 120 days. The resettlement of Syrian refugees was halted indefinitely. The president and his team insisted the order did not amount to a ban on Muslims.
 
In November 2016, a week after Trump was elected, the SPLC reported that more than 400 incidents of harassment or intimidation had occurred since the president's election. A plurality of those incidents were reportedly anti-immigrant.