We have witnessed an increase in the onslaught of institutional and individual prejudice against American Muslims in 2017. CAIR’s 2018 civil rights report, Targeted, presents the data on, effect of, and legal pushback against anti-Muslim bias in the United States.

As the only report of its kind, providing both hard numbers and real stories of impact on the lives of American Muslims, it also functions as a benchmark of the status of American Muslim civil rights over time. As such, the information it provides serves as a resource for the community, allied organizations, media professionals, and researchers.

Key Findings

CAIR recorded a 17 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents nationwide in 2017 over 2016. This was accompanied by a 15 percent increase in hate crimes targeting American Muslims, including children, youth, and families, over the same period.

Of particular alarm is the fact that federal government agencies instigated 35 percent of all anti-Muslim bias incidents recorded in 2017. This represents an almost unprecedented level of government hostility toward a religious minority within the United States, and is counter to the American value of religious freedom.

Following the executive order barring the entry of individuals from several Muslim-majority countries into the U.S., the first version of which was signed on January 27, 2017, CAIR received a deluge of cases. Over the course of the year, CAIR recorded 464 incidents pertaining to the unconstitutional Muslim Ban. That is a staggering 18 percent of the total number of anti-Muslim bias incidents documented in 2017.

Overall, the top five types of abuse were:

  1. Harassment, a non-violent or non-threatening incident of bias, at 14 percent of cases.
  2. Incidents in which the complainant was inappropriately targeted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection accounted for 14 percent.
  3. Hate crimes, including physical violence targeting individuals and damage targeting property, making up 12 percent.
  4. Cases in which the FBI harassed or otherwise inappropriately targeted the complainant, constituting 10 percent.
  5. Employment discrimination — including denial of work, being passed over for promotion, or harassment by a supervisor or other senior staff — accounting for 9 percent.

Additionally, CAIR recorded 144 anti-mosque incidents, including harassment, intimidation, and hate crimes.