Just a few short weeks after the attacks on Paris and San Bernardino, hate crimes against Muslim Americans have tripled, according to new data from California State University The New York Times reports.
Crimes against Muslim Americans have taken the forms of physical violence against hijab-wearing citizens, the burning of mosques, shootings, and death threats targeted towards Muslim-owned businesses.
The attacks also coincide with an uptick in anti-Muslim rhetoric, like GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s recent call for a ban on all Muslims travelling to the US, and presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s statement that “you have to reject the tenets of Islam,” in order to serve as US president.
“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, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University to The New York Times.
Early in December, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch commented on the troubling trend towards anti-Muslim sentiments entering the mainstream, telling the crowd at a Muslim Advocates dinner that her “greatest fear” that anti-Muslim rhetoric would manifest itself in violence.
“My message to not just the Muslim community but to the entire American community is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.”
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