Due to an unfortunate perfect storm of the extremist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and the rising popularity of Donald Trump with his proposed banning of Muslims entering the U.S., a new study from the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University reports an increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2015. According to the study, last year there were 174 reported incidents including 12 murders with the largest spike occurring in December (which accounted for 53 attacks).
Author of the study Engy Abdelkader reports that at least three of the incidents were committed by Trump supporters. Muslim leaders and victims of these crime largely blame the heightened political atmosphere caused by many of the Republican candidates with, as Ms. Abdelkader points out, “specific references to Mr. Trump.”
As Slate concludes: “Whether Trump’s rhetoric is specifically causing a high number of the crimes, he is at the very least causing unease and fear in a large number of American citizens—citizens who have become even more vulnerable in the post-9/11 era.”