The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said it received an “unprecedented” number of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias complaints in the past month “since the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine.”
According to a news release on Thursday, the advocacy group received at least 1,283 complaints reported incidents of bias since Oct. 7, a 216% increase over the past year. Per the report, in an average 29-day period in 2022, CAIR received only 406 complaints.
The release said that of the 1,283 total complaints reported, 248 were requests for help to CAIR national between Oct. 7 and Nov. 4.
The most frequent type of case reported to the national headquarters involved First Amendment rights, such as free speech and expression, and accounted for 23% of cases.
Other incidents included workplace harassment, bullying, and hate crimes including at least one murder, two attempted murders, violent threats, the use of vehicles as weapons to target protesters, and incidents involving guns being discharged or brandished to threaten supporters of Palestinian human rights. Those who wear a hijab are especially susceptible to violence.
“Both Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism are out of control in ways we have not seen in almost 10 years,” CAIR Research and Advocacy Director Corey Saylor said.
Per Saylor, American Muslims are facing the largest wave of Islamophobic bias CAIR has documented since Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban announcement in 2015.
Saylor noted that “Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric” that has been “used to both justify violence against Palestinians in Gaza and silence supporters of Palestinian human rights here in America has contributed to this unprecedented surge in bigotry.
The total number of bias cases and incidents of Islamophobia is expected to be higher, due to the number of unreported cases.
The new data follows a report from earlier this year, that was seen as a “glimmer of hope” indicating that hate crimes may be on the verge of a decline.
“Securing future declines has never been more urgent,” CAIR said in the April report. The report analyzing data from 2022 was the first time the U.S. charted a decrease in anti-Muslim bias incidents since CAIR began tracking the reports in the 1990s.
CAIR is also not the only one to report such incidents. Muslim Americans across the country have shared incidents of violence including threats made to students for their involvement in on and off-campus protests.
The UConn Muslim Student Association and UConn Students for Justice in Palestine said they received messages mocking dead Palestinians and hope that members of the group are killed, The Messenger reported.
CAIR called on President Biden to address anti-Muslim hate and to negotiate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
“Political leaders, corporations, media outlets, civic organizations, and others all have a role to play in ending this surge in bigotry,” Saylor said.