MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A new report from the Council on American-Islamic Relations shows a sharp increase in attacks and bias against Muslims in the past year, with many at a meeting in Minneapolis Monday night citing the Trump administration as part of the reason for the spike.
Federal investigators say three men from Illinois bombed the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., last summer in an effort to get them to leave the country. Now, Muslim leaders say the incident is part of a growing wave of anti-Muslim discrimination and violence across the U.S., highlighted by President Donald Trump's travel ban on primarily Muslim countries.
“All of these incidents just show you that not only here in Minnesota, but across the country, bias crime against Muslims is at an all-time high,” Minnesota CAIR Director Jaylani Hussein said.
About a dozen people showed up for Monday's meeting at Bethany Lutheran Church to discuss how the travel ban is affecting the local Muslim community, announcing the results of CAIR's annual civil rights report called, "Targeted in the Nation's Capitol."
The conversation comes just days before the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case on the constitutionality of President Trump's travel ban, an important ruling that everyone in the Muslim-American community says they're watching closely.
The report says incidents of anti-Muslim bias jumped from about 2,200 in 2016 to almost 2,600 last year, while anti-Muslim hate crimes went from 260 to 300.
“We've had multiple incidents where Muslim women have been harassed and threatened," Hussein said. "We've had incidents in school where bullying became a huge issue and even excessive use of force against school children."
The Minnesota chapter of CAIR says there were 43 cases of anti-Muslim bias reported in the state last year, compared with 20-30 the year before, the first year they started collecting data.
CAIR, meanwhile, says President Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric and travel ban are to blame.
“We believe President Trump’s racist remarks and targeted remarks against Muslims have actually helped those who have biases against Muslims to actually act upon that and hurt people,” Hussein said. “Muslims have always been here, and once we start having these discussions, I believe we will see these numbers of hate crimes going down.”