Incidents targeting Jews and Muslims on the rise, new figures show

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) revealed that it has seen an “unprecedented” increase in complaints of anti-Muslim or anti-Arab bias ever since the start of the war between Hamas and Israel last month.

According to the data, the group received a total of 1,283 requests for help and reports of bias, a 216 per cent increase from the prior year.

The organisation says it heard reports of First Amendment issues, violations of an individual’s right to free speech and expression, hate crimes, and bullying, among others.

In 2022, the group said it logged 406 complaints during an average 29-day period.

Most of the new complaints were handled by CAIR local chapters, while its national headquarters received 248 of the grievances.

The individuals and entities that submitted the complaints included students, doctors, protestors and mosques.

“The Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric that have been used to both justify violence against Palestinians in Gaza and silence supporters of Palestinian human rights here in America has contributed to this unprecedented surge in bigotry,” CAIR Research and Advocacy Director Corey Saylor said in a statement.

“American Muslims are facing the largest wave of Islamophobic bias that we have documented since then-candidate Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban announcement in December 2015.”

Separate from the complaints, the group said its civil rights division has been tracking violent incidents against Muslim and Palestinian communities, which include one murder, two attempted murders, violent threats, and the use of vehicles as weapons to target protestors.

Last month, 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume was stabbed to death by his landlord in Illinois. Prosecutors said the man was obsessed with the war. His mother was also stabbed and left critically injured.

“It is well past time for President Biden to call for a ceasefire,” Mr Saylor added.

Other civil rights organisations have reported seeing a rise in both antisemitic, anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian incidents.

In October, the Anti-Defamation League reported a 388 per cent increase in harassment, vandalism, and assault, according to preliminary data, which the organisation said it has collected since the start of the war.

“When conflict erupts in Israel, antisemitic incidents soon follow in the US and globally,” said the organisation’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.