Home News Anti-Muslim hate spikes amid Israel-Hamas war: Council on American-Islamic Relations

Anti-Muslim hate spikes amid Israel-Hamas war: Council on American-Islamic Relations

Last year saw a record-breaking number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the U.S., according to a new report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which noted 8,061 reported complaints that the organization largely tied to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The figure marks the highest total in the 28 years CAIR has been tracking the data — and a roughly 56% increase from 2022, when the group recorded 5,156 incidents, according to the data published Tuesday.

CAIR also noted that a little over 44% of the total 2023 complaints came during the final three months of the year, immediately following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

“The new data confirms our worst suspicions: what we are witnessing since October 2023 is nothing short of the largest wave of anti-Muslim hate seen in this country in more than a decade,” Farah Afify, the report’s co-author and research and advocacy coordinator for CAIR, said in a statement to CNN.

“These findings demonstrate that, even amid moments of perceived progress, Islamophobia persists as an underlying force that is always capable of reemerging to significantly impact the lives of Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim,” wrote the authors of the report.

The study tracked anti-Muslim incidents across several different categories, with the most frequent reports being related to immigration and asylum-seekers, totaling 1,637 cases.

Employment discrimination was the second-highest category, followed by discrimination connected to education settings.

The report also pointed out the real tragedies behind these cases, including the murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy named Wadea Al-Fayoume, who was allegedly stabbed to death by his family’s landlord in Chicago while he yelled, “You Muslims must die!”

They also discussed the teacher in Warner Robins, Ga., who threatened to beat and behead his seventh-grade Muslim student last December.

“Employers, universities and schools were among the primary actors suppressing free speech by those who sought to vocally oppose Israel’s genocidal onslaught on Gaza and call attention to Palestinian human rights, particularly Muslims, Arabs, and Palestinians,” the report stated.

The authors recommended a series of changes for political, educational and corporate leaders, including giving “equal weight and attention” to “Palestinian suffering” when discussing the Israel-Hamas war.

Congress was also encouraged to strengthen anti-doxxing laws to protect the identities of those who express support for Palestinians in Gaza. Amidst the ongoing war, many have faced intimidation for expressing such points of view, the authors wrote.


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