Sharp rise in Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment in US after Israel-Hamas war - Hindustan Times
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US sees alarming rise in Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment following Israel-Hamas war

Nov 11, 2023 10:57 AM IST

A new report by Cair shows a 216% increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab incidents in the US after the Israel-Hamas war.

A new report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) shows that the US is witnessing a sharp rise in Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment after the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas last month.

Muslim community members mourn Wadea Al Fayoume at his grave in LaGrange, Ill., Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. An Illinois landlord accused of fatally stabbing the 6-year-old Muslim boy and seriously wounding his mother was charged with a hate crime after police and relatives said he singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)(AP)
Muslim community members mourn Wadea Al Fayoume at his grave in LaGrange, Ill., Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. An Illinois landlord accused of fatally stabbing the 6-year-old Muslim boy and seriously wounding his mother was charged with a hate crime after police and relatives said he singled out the victims because of their faith and as a response to the war between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)(AP)

The report, based on 1,283 requests for help and reports of bias received by Cair between 7 October and 4 November, reveals that the number of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab incidents has increased by 216% compared to the same period last year.

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Throughout 2022, Cair registered a mere 406 complaints, averaging to about 29 per day.

The most common type of incident reported to Cair was related to First Amendment rights, such as free speech, which accounted for 23.39% of the cases. The second most common type was employment discrimination, which made up 20.56% of the cases. The third most common type was hate crimes, which comprised 15.32% of the cases. Cair also reported that 9.2% of the cases involved education and bullying.

Corey Saylor, Cair’s research and advocacy director, said, “The Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric that has been used to both justify violence against Palestinians in Gaza and silence supporters of Palestinian human rights here in America has contributed to this unprecedented surge in bigotry."

He added that “American Muslims are facing the largest wave of Islamophobic bias that we have documented,” when Donald Trump, then a presidential candidate, called for a ban on Muslims entering the US.

“Political leaders, corporations, media outlets, civic organizations and others all have a role to play in ending this surge in bigotry.”

The Jewish communities in the US are also facing record-high levels of antisemitism after Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October and Israel launched a war on Hamas.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported on 25 October that the number of antisemitic incidents reported to them had increased by nearly 400% year over year. From 7 to 23 October, the ADL recorded 312 antisemitic incidents, of which 190 were directly linked to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

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In the same period last year, the ADL received only 64 incidents, including four that were related to Israel, the advocacy group said.

In October, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) highlighted a concerning 214% surge in reported hate crimes against Jews, as indicated by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

The NYPD reported 101 hate crimes in October, of which 69 targeted Jews. In October 2020, the NYPD reported 45 hate crimes, of which 22 targeted Jews.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s leader, said, “It is incumbent on all leaders, from political leaders to CEOs to university presidents, to forcefully and unequivocally condemn antisemitism and terrorism.”

“This isn’t hard. Words matter, and while the war in Gaza escalates, we encourage all those in positions of power to use their platforms to condemn hate and terrorism, wherever it occurs.”

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