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Anti-Muslim incidents jump in US amid Israel-Gaza war

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest near the entrance of the Jamaica to JFK AirTrain Station in New York City, US, January 27, 2024.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest near the entrance of the Jamaica to JFK AirTrain Station in New York City, US, January 27, 2024.
Image: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Complaints of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian discrimination and hate in the US rose by about 180% in the three months after October 7 after Hamas' attack on Israel and Israel's subsequent assault on Hamas-governed Gaza, an advocacy group said on Monday.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Rights advocates have noted a rise in Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian bias in the US and elsewhere since the eruption of war in the Middle East. Among incidents in the US that raised alarm were a November shooting in Vermont where three students of Palestinian descent were shot and the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American child in Illinois in October.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said on Monday it has received 3,578 complaints during the last three months of 2023, amid what it called “an ongoing wave of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate.”

The figure is a 178% rise from complaints in the same period from a year earlier.

Complaints of employment discrimination led the list with 662 instances; hate crimes and hate incidents were reported 472 times; and education discrimination 448 times, the organisation said.

Earlier this month, the Anti-Defamation League said that in the three months after Oct. 7, US antisemitic incidents rose by 360% compared to the prior year.

CONTEXT: US SECURITY ALERTS

The US government recently issued security guidance for faith-based communities amid heightened anti-Semitism and Islamophobia since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas that killed 1,200, and Israel's subsequent military retaliation in Gaza that the local health ministry says has killed over 26,000 Palestinians or more than 1% of Gaza's 2.3 million population.

The US Justice Department is monitoring rising threats against Jews and Muslims amid the conflict. President Joe Biden has condemned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Reuters

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