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Anti-Muslim incidents hit record high in United States amid Israel-Gaza conflict; sees 56% rise in 2023

Human rights advocates have also observed a global uptick in Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian bias, and antisemitism following the latest outbreak of conflict in the Middle East.

Anti-Muslim incidents hit record high in United States amid Israel-Gaza conflict; sees 56% rise in 2023 snt
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First Published Apr 2, 2024, 5:27 PM IST

Incidents of discrimination and attacks against Muslims and Palestinians in the United States surged to a record high in 2023, fueled by increasing Islamophobia and bias, particularly amidst the Israel-Gaza conflict towards the end of the year, data from an advocacy group revealed on Tuesday.

Complaints totaled 8,061 in 2023, marking a 56% increase from the previous year and representing the highest number since the Council on American-Islamic Relations began keeping records nearly three decades ago. Approximately 3,600 of these incidents occurred between October and December, according to CAIR.

Also read: Iran warns retaliation after Israeli strike on consulate in Syria; protesters burn Israel, US flags (WATCH)

Human rights advocates have also observed a global uptick in Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian bias, and antisemitism following the latest outbreak of conflict in the Middle East.

In the US, notable incidents included the tragic October stabbing of 6-year-old Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois, the November shooting of three students of Palestinian descent in Vermont, and the February stabbing of a Palestinian American man in Texas.

According to CAIR's report, 2023 witnessed a "resurgence of anti-Muslim hate" following the first-ever recorded annual drop in complaints in 2022. From January to September, incidents averaged around 500 per month, but this number surged to nearly 1,200 per month in the final quarter.

"The primary force behind this wave of heightened Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine in October 2023," the report said.

 

CAIR reported that the most prevalent complaints in 2023 pertained to immigration and asylum, employment discrimination, hate crimes, and education discrimination.

Also read: 'Elections now': Thousands rally against Netanyahu's Govt in Israel amid Gaza war; WATCH dramatic videos

According to Israeli estimates, the attacks by the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas on October 7 killed 1,200 people in Israel. According to the local health ministry, Israel's ensuing military assault on Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas, has killed over 32,000 people, forced virtually all of Gaza's 2.3 million residents to flee, brought Gaza to the verge of starvation, and sparked accusations of genocide—which Israel disputes.

CAIR stated that the numbers were compiled by reviewing public statements and videos, as well as reports from public calls, emails, and an online complaint system. They also reached out to individuals whose incidents were reported in the media.

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