A report released by a prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group indicates that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States increased by more than 50 percent in the past year, from 93 cases in 2003 to 141 in 2004.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) report – the only annual study of its kind – outlines 1522 incidents and experiences of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in 2004, the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever recorded in the Washington-based group’s annual report. (Hundreds of anti-Muslim incidents reported immediately following the 9/11 attack were detailed in a separate report.) According to the study, called Unequal Protection,” that figure is a 49 percent jump over the preceding year.
CAIR said factors contributing to the sharp increase in reported incidents included the lingering impact of post-9/11 fears, increased awareness of civil rights issues in the Muslim community, a general increase in anti-Muslim rhetoric, growth in the number of local CAIR chapters reporting cases, and abuses associated with the implementation of national security policies.
(The complete report may be viewed at: http://www.cair-net.org/asp/2005CivilRightsReport.pdf)