Anti-Muslim bias reports skyrocket after Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel The Council on American-Islamic Relations has released its annual Civil Right Report. It details record-high instances of anti-Muslim hate in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Anti-Muslim bias reports skyrocket after Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel

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The Council on American-Islamic relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, is reporting a record number of anti-Muslim bias complaints. NPR religion correspondent Jason DeRose has the details.

JASON DEROSE, BYLINE: The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, took in more than 8,000 bias reports in 2023, and it says nearly half of them came in the final three months of the year, following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

COREY SAYLOR: I was stunned by the sheer volume of complaints we got.

DEROSE: Corey Saylor directs research and advocacy at CAIR.

SAYLOR: In 2022, our numbers showed the first-ever drop since we started tracking incidents. And then to see all of that erased, it's a real insight into how easy it is for someone to just flip the Islamophobia switch back to on.

DEROSE: CAIR says 15% of reports were about employment bias. More than 8% involved schools, including colleges and universities. And Saylor says more than 7% of reports involved allegations of hate crimes, including the case of the young boy allegedly killed by his family's landlord near Chicago.

SAYLOR: I just don't know how much hate it takes to drive an adult to target a child. And I think it's also fair to say that hate did not originate last October.

DEROSE: The report also highlights a controversy in Maryland's Montgomery County Public Schools. The district allows parents to opt out of a family life and human sexuality unit, but it does not allow Muslim parents or any parents, for that matter, to opt out of books assigned for English classes that portray LGBTQ+ characters. Again, CAIR's Corey Saylor.

SAYLOR: The sincerely held religious beliefs of parents were completely ignored, disregarded and even in a couple of instances, criticized.

DEROSE: CAIR's report also includes mention of some bright spots. In 2023, New York City and Minneapolis permitted the call to prayer to be broadcast over loudspeakers. New Jersey and Georgia began recognizing Muslim Heritage Month. And school districts in at least six states added at least one Muslim holiday to academic calendars.

Jason DeRose, NPR News.


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