With Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes on the Rise in U.S., Islamic Groups Enhance Security, Community Engagement

Posted Dec. 23, 2015

MP3 Interview with Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director, with the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, conducted by Scott Harris

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Since the Nov. 13 ISIS attacks in Paris that left 130 dead and 368 injured, followed by the Dec. 2 San Bernardino, California mass shooting by a radical Islamist couple that killed 14 and wounded 22 others, incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the U.S. have increased dramatically. According to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino, the number of attacks on Muslims and their houses of worship has risen almost three-fold, and include assaults on women dressed in traditional veils or hijabs, vandalism, arson and shootings. While the number of anti-Muslim crimes over the past five years has averaged 12.6 per month, in the four weeks following the Paris attacks, the number rose to 37.

According to news reports, a severed pig's head was thrown from a car at a mosque in Philadelphia, a pregnant Muslim woman who was wearing a headscarf in San Diego was hit in the stomach while walking down the street, and an Uber driver in Pittsburgh was shot by a passenger who thought he was a Muslim.

An anti-Muslim hate crime in Connecticut took place on Nov. 14, when a 48-year-old man was arrested after he allegedly fired multiple shots from guns he owns at a Mosque near his home in the city of Meriden. No one was hurt in the attack and the FBI later found anti-Muslim messages posted on his Facebook account. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Mongi Dhaouadi, executive director of the Connecticut chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who discusses how local mosques and national groups are responding to the rise in hate crimes, and concerns about the toxic effect of hateful rhetoric coming from many of the candidates running for the Republican party presidential nomination.

Learn more by visiting Council on American-Islamic Relations at cair.com and Council on American-Islamic Relations, Connecticut Chapter at cair-ct.com.

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