(KMSP) - There has been a massive jump in the number of hate crimes against Muslims over the last year in the U.S., according to the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, there was a 57 percent spike in reported Muslim bias incidents and a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes since last year.
Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR Minnesota, said he is not surprised by the numbers
“In March alone, here in Minnesota, we had four incidents spanning from Moorhead, St. Cloud and here in the Twin Cities involving stabbing, threatening and even an attempt at choking a taxi driver in St. Cloud,” he said.
One of the more visible bias crimes in Minnesota happened in late 2015 when Asma Jama was hit in the face with a beer mug at an Applebee’s restaurant.
Hussein said it really started growing about that time, and the numbers are increasing in part because more incidents are being reported and in part because more seem to be occurring.
“The rhetoric and organizing against Muslims [both] increased after the election, and these two are creating really the sense of a fearful environment that produces individuals to act, to lash out against Muslims,” he said.