Rabat - Attacks against Muslims in the United States constituted roughly a third of all “attacks" in the country during December 2015, according to a new report by Georgetown University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding released earlier this week.
Rabat – Attacks against Muslims in the United States constituted roughly a third of all “attacks” in the country during December 2015, according to a new report by Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding released earlier this week.
Though the study did not specifically define what kinds of crimes comprise “all attacks last year,” it attributed the rise in hate crimes against Muslims to several overlapping factors that escalated in the past nine months.
Researchers cited a “surge” of anti-Muslim political rhetoric after the first Republican (GOP) debate in August as contributing factors to approximately 10 reported incidents or threats of violence in September. The incidents included three murders.
The Syrian refugee crisis and media reports detailing the defiance of numerous Republican governors to host Muslim refugees in their states also played a role in the rise of violence against the minority religious group, the analysts said.
Donald Trump, now the presumptive GOP nominee for president, added to religious tensions after the Paris attacks – a string of shootings and bombing claimed by the so-called “Islamic State” that left more than 130 people dead in the French capital.
“Mr. Trump made many anti-Muslim statement during televised appearances on mainstream news outlets, impacting millions across the U.S. and around the world,” the report said, referring to the candidates proposed plans to shut down mosques after the November attacks and the San Bernardino shootings in California in December.
Trump’s statements initially fueled a threefold rise in attacks against Muslims, around half of which targeted mosques and Islamic centers, according to the report’s figures.
The study listed the Paris attacks as an “an event that triggered a second surge in Islamophobic rhetoric in addition to the uptick in bias attacks.”
By December, assaults, vandalism and other forms of hate crimes against believers of Islam occurred “almost daily” and “often” several times in one day.
In all of 2015, a total of 174 attacks against Muslims has been reported, out of which, there were 12 murders. 29 physical assaults, 50 threats against people or institutions, 54 acts of vandalism or destruction of property, eight arsons and nine shootings and bombings, among other incidents.
The report added that, though anti-Muslim incidents have been increasing in the past nine months, attacks against Muslims have been prevalent and deadly before the period as well. The murder of three American Muslims near the University of North Caroline-Chapel Hill occurred one month before now-withdrawn Ted Cruz became the first GOP presidential hopeful to declare his candidacy in March 2015.