Crimes against Muslim Americans on Rise: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques across the United States have tripled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, with dozens occurring within just a month, according to new data.
The spike includes assaults on Hijab-wearing students; arsons and vandalism at mosques; and shootings and death threats at Islamic-owned businesses, an analysis by a California State University research group has found, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
“The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger,” said Brian Levin, a criminologist at California State University, San Bernardino.
Levin runs a hate-crimes research group at the university, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, which produced the analysis and provided the results to The New York Times.
In recent years, there has been an average of 12.6 suspected hate crimes against Muslims in the United States a month, based on FBI data analyzed by the research group.
But the rate of attacks has tripled since the attacks in Paris on November 13 by ISIL operatives, with 38 attacks regarded as anti-Islamic in nature, according to the analysis, which was based on reports from the news media and civil rights groups.
Eighteen of the episodes have come since the Bernardino on December 2 by a couple who were sympathizers of the ISIL terrorist group, which left 14 people dead.
A week after the Paris attacks, a sixth-grade girl in the Bronx was reportedly attacked by three boys who tried to take off the hijab she was wearing, punched her and called her “ISIS.”
Days later, a college student in a parking lot in San Diego reported a similar assault, with her attacker yelling anti-Muslim slurs.
In Pittsburgh, a passenger in a cab shot the driver, who was Muslim, in the back after the passenger angrily asked him about ISIL and mocked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the authorities said. And in Anaheim, California, a bullet-riddled copy of the Quran was left outside an Islamic clothing store.
The most recent episode cataloged by the San Bernardino research group came Tuesday, when a man reportedly pulled a knife on a Muslim woman at a carwash and threatened her. He was arrested, as the attackers have been in a number of other cases, but many of the episodes remain under investigation by federal and local authorities.