The 2017 CAIR Civil Rights Report “The Empowerment of Hate”, details a more than 50 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2016 over the previous year. The report directly addresses many issues currently affecting the civil rights of American Muslims in the state of Oklahoma.
CAIR’s new report also outlines how the increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents has been accompanied by a similar spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes during the same period. [NOTE: The report focuses primarily on 2016, but also contains data on cases documented by CAIR during the 2014-2016 period.]
In 2016, CAIR recorded a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents over 2015. This was accompanied by a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes in the same period. From 2014 to 2016, anti-Muslim bias incidents jumped 65 percent. In that two-year period, CAIR finds that hate crimes targeting Muslims surged 584 percent.
Harassment, a non-violent or non-threatening bias incident, was the most frequent type of abuse in 2016, accounting for 18 percent of the total number of incidents. Incidents during which the complainant was questioned by FBI employees or otherwise appeared to be inappropriately targeted by the agency made up 15 percent of cases, making this the second largest category. Employment issues—including denial of work, being passed over for promotion, or harassment by a supervisor or other senior staff—were the third largest category, accounting for 13 percent of the total. Hate crimes placed fourth, accounting for 12 percent of the cases CAIR documented. Denials of religious accommodation, for instance when a complainant is denied permission to wear a headscarf at work or have a Quran in their jail cell, were the fifth most frequent, accounting for 8 percent of total anti-Muslim bias incidents.
The most prevalent trigger of an anti-Muslim bias incident in 2016 was the victim’s ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 35 percent of the total. 16 percent of incidents occurred as a result of a woman wearing a headscarf. Other miscellaneous Muslim activity—events such as rallies, community picnics, or a day at the state capitol visiting legislators organized primarily for Muslims—constituted an additional 11 percent. An individual’s name was the next most common trigger factor, accounting for 8 percent of the incidents. The fifth trigger was the target being a place of worship. This calculated to 6 percent of the total.
Of the 2016 incidents for which Federal government entities were identified as the instigator: the FBI accounted for 62 percent, TSA accounted for 15 percent, CBP accounted for 12 percent, USCIS accounted for 4 percent, and ICE accounted for 2 percent.