Anti-Muslim complaints tripled in US compared to after 9/11 attacks: Muslim group

Sun, 7 May 2023 5:06 GMT
Hate crimes in US against Muslims spiked after 9/11, still on upward trend, says Ammar Ansari from CAIR.
Anti-Muslim complaints tripled in US compared to after 9/11 attacks: Muslim group

Complaints about anti-Muslim sentiment in the US have tripled since 1995, compared to after the 9/11 terror attacks, according to a US coordinator with a civil rights and advocacy organization. 

“For the first time, a decline in a total number of cases, specifically a 23% decline,” has been seen in CAIR’s new civil rights report, Research and Advocacy Coordinator at The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ammar Ansari, told Anadolu.

“But while we see that this is encouraging, we need to keep in mind that if we're looking at the data from 1995 to today, it's still three times more than the years following the 9/11 attacks -- the number of complaints that we receive,” he said.

Ansari said that according to the FBI hate crime reports that are published every year, “hate crimes in the United States against Muslims, spiked immediately after 9/11 and are still an upward trend in this country.”

Islamophobia is institutionalized, instrumentalized and internalized in the US, he said. “Some of these examples in which we see Islamophobia being institutionalized are the Patriot Act shortly after 9/11, the CVE program by the Obama administration that almost exclusively targeted Muslims through false Islamophobic perceptions, as well as the Muslim ban by the Trump administration.”

“Islamophobia is used by politicians and anti-Muslim activists, think tanks, and the media always to push an agenda. And the classic example that we see is that Trump would say things like Islam hates us in the early days of his presidency presidential campaign in 2015 as a strategy to divide the country and win the presidency,” he said.

Ansari said Muslims in the US are often racialized as Arab or South Asian. 

“So, the experiences of a South Asian Muslim in America when compared to the experiences of a black Muslim, for example, while they both can face similar discrimination on the basis of religion, we should also acknowledge that their racial identities can subject them to different forms of systemic and interpersonal discrimination in the US, such as anti-black racism,” he said.

“But an outcome of this racialization is that even non-Muslim communities are targeted by Islamophobia. So, the first person that was murdered in a hate crime after 9/11 was a Punjabi Sikh American man, Balbir Singh Sodhi, in Arizona, who was profiled as an Arab-looking man by the shooter,” he added.


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