Anti-Muslim incidents in California – a state with the largest Muslim population – increased by 58% between 2014 and 2015 reports the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR says that this pattern is also reflective of other communities throughout the U.S.
According to the Guardian, “the report says the deadly attacks in Paris in November and in San Bernardino, California, in December, along with the success of presidential nominee Donald Trump, have fueled a distinct rise in Islamophobia in the US, with acts of discrimination, harassment and violence that can make it challenging for Muslims to go about their daily lives.”
Last year a total of 1,150 incidents in California were reported to CAIR including complaints involving school bullying, employment and housing discrimination, and interactions with law enforcement. Mosques have also been vandalized and people harassed.
CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper says that media bias has helped fuel anti-Muslim sentiment noting a recent study which found that in news reports that described “domestic terrorists,” 81% were identified as Muslims, even though during the period studied, only 6% of all domestic terror suspects were Muslim.
Hooper said he is very concerned about the long-term effects on young Muslims. “Can you imagine growing up in this toxic anti-Muslim environment?”