CAIR’s report says hate crimes spiked 91 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to last year. Ruth Nasrullah with CAIR’s Houston office traces the increase to the Trump campaign and presidency. Many incidents are directed at the homes of Muslims, and 37 percent have been directed to children in schools.
“That’s just shocking. When the election results came out, there were counseling sessions because they were so anxious. We can’t live in a country where children are afraid of the president.”
A Muslim woman’s headscarf has been a trigger in 15 percent of incidents. Whenever there’s news of a terrorist attack in Europe, the American Muslim community gets anxious.
“Well, I’ll tell you what personally goes through my mind is, ‘Why again do I have to worry, is it a Muslim and will there be backlash?'”
Nasrullah says a lot of myths are repeated on social media. But she says the best way to help dispel anti-Muslim sentiment is for people to have a neighbor or co-worker who is Muslim.
“When you know a Muslim, then you’re less likely to think that a Muslim is a terrorist or that Islam is a bad ideology or something like that. So just humanizing us.”
CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and simplify the process to report hate crimes.