WASHINGTON (Web Desk) – Hate crimes against Muslim Americans and mosques across the United States have tripled in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, with dozens occurring within just a month, according to new data.
New York Times reported that the spike includes assaults on hijab-wearing students; arsons and vandalism at mosques; and shootings and death threats at Islamic-owned businesses, an analysis by a California State University research group has found.
President Obama and civil rights leaders have warned about anecdotal evidence of a recent Muslim backlash, particularly in California. But the analysis is the first to document the rise, amid a crescendo of anti-Islamic statements from politicians.
“The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger,” said Brian Levin, a criminologist at California State University, San Bernardino.
In recent years, there has been an average of 12.6 suspected hate crimes against Muslims in the United States a month, based on FBI data analyzed by the research group.
But the rate of attacks has tripled since the attacks in Paris on November 13 by Islamic State operatives, with 38 attacks regarded as anti-Islamic in nature, according to the analysis, which was based on reports from the news media and civil rights groups.
Eighteen of the episodes have come since the shooting in San Bernardino on December 2 by a Muslim couple who were supporters of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, which left 14 people dead.
The frequency of the recent attacks has not reached the levels seen in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when there were hundreds of attacks on Muslims, and some Sikhs mistaken for Muslims, but Levin said they were similar types of hate-crime attacks.