Islamaphobia on the rise in the United States

Aiden Ochoa, Staff Reporter

Within recent weeks, especially with the mass coverage of the Paris attacks, an atypical increase in hate crimes aimed at Muslims has become exceedingly apparent. Some incidents of these hate crimes are various people receiving hateful phone calls and messages, mosques being vandalized or, in some cases, set on fire, and some people have even been physically attacked. Some places of worship have even hired armed guards for protection such as several mosques in Alabama. Store owners have been attacked within their own stores, as was the case in New York with Sarker Haque who was jumped and punched repeatedly by a man who reportedly said he wanted to “kill Muslims”.

A group of Muslims praying publicly in a California park were approached by a woman who threw hot coffee at their faces after spewing anti-Islamic slurs at them. A recording of the attack has her saying, “The people you tortured, they’re going to spend eternity in heaven. You are very deceived by Satan. Your mind has been taken over, brainwashed, and you have nothing but hate, nothing but hate”. On Dec. 9 a sixteen year old, Somali-born teen was beaten and thrown from a sixth story window in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. These are just some of the reported incidents of Islamophobia within the U.S since the attacks on Paris.

The general increase in anti-Muslim sentiment has been spurred on by presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hateful remarks concerning Muslims. In South Carolina, at a presidential rally, Trump proposed that all Muslims be banned from entering the U.S. He also told Yahoo News in November that he would require Muslim-Americans to register with a government database and carry special identification cards that would identify them as Muslims. Since these comments have come out, Trump’s popularity has surged upward and a majority of 59% of Republicans surveyed by an ABC News/ Washington Post poll were found to support Trump’s suggestion to bar and label all American Muslims. Meanwhile, only 36% of all general adults in the survey supported Trump’s comments. Sixty percent thought it would be wrong thing to do.

With this frightening increase in an anti-Muslim perception along the United States, the American Muslim community is rife with fear. Many mosques and other places of worship have reported a decrease in their attendance due to a general fear of public persecution aimed at Muslims since the Paris attacks. This instances of prejudice against Muslims isn’t just found in more rural, conservative areas. Auburn High School senior, Masar Hassoun, stated, “I’ve seen it. There was one against my cousin; my cousin got called a terrorist. It’s never happened to me but to my relatives”.