Monday November 20, 2017
Home Politics As Hate Crime...

As Hate Crime Rises, Muslims are Looked down upon as ‘Most disdained’ Minority in USA

With about 3.3 million people, Muslims represent roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but attacks on Muslims accounted for 4.5 percent of all hate crimes in 2015

2
215
Hate Crime
A young woman waves an American flag in a Muslim conference against terror and hate at the Curtis Culwell Center, Jan. 17, 2015, in Garland, Texas. VOA
  • Rise in hate crime leads to the Muslims in America to be seen as the most disdained minority in the country
  • Even though the Muslim community represents roughly 1 percent of the whole population in the US, hate crimes of last year account for about 4.5 percent to the Muslims
  • Terror attacks can increase violence against the Muslims but political rhetoric can be a reason to both triggering and keeping it in check

Sept 22, 2016: New survey proves that anti-Muslim hate crime in the United States in the last year abruptly raised to levels not seen before since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, making Muslims the “most disdained” religious minority group in the whole country.

Official police reports from 20 states compiled by California State University at San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism show there were 196 anti-Muslim crimes in 2015, up from 110 incidents in 2014, an increase of 78 percent. The crimes in 2015 ranged from assault to murder to arson.

Hate crime directed at Arabs jumped by an even higher 219 percent.

[sociallocker][/sociallocker]

Overall, hate crime in the United States rose by just 5 percent, from 4,139 incidents in 2014 to 4,347 in 2015. And while there were more anti-Jewish and anti-LGBT hate crimes, the increases in those categories were much smaller, according to the study.

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, who led the study, said the spike in anti-Muslim violence was fueled by a combination of prejudice, terrorism and political vitriol.

“Not only do we see wide swaths of anti-Muslim prejudice … but now Muslims are the most disdained major group in the United States and we have a socio-political movement that reinforces and amplifies it,” Levin said in an interview, referring to the anti-Muslim rhetoric by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and other American politicians.

With about 3.3 million people, Muslims represent roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, but attacks on Muslims accounted for 4.5 percent of all hate crimes in 2015, Levin noted.

With the exception of 2015, hate crimes have trended down in recent years; yet even then, “the proportion of Muslim targets has gone up,” he added.

‘Tip of the iceberg’

Among the 20 states studied, several with large Muslim communities saw an increase in anti-Muslim violence, with New Jersey reporting a 250 percent rise, Texas registering a surge of 129 percent, California reporting a jump of 122 percent and Tennessee notching a 67 percent uptick.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

In California, the San Bernardino mass shooting by a Muslim couple in December led to a wave of anti-Muslim attacks. In Tennessee, shootings on two military installations in Chattanooga by a Muslim-American, along with a controversy surrounding mosque construction, touched off a crime spree aimed at Muslims.

Partial data provided by police departments show the upsurge in anti-Muslim hate crime has continued into this year.

Levin shared data from four jurisdictions, showing New York City with 21 anti-Muslim hate crimes this year through early September, up from 10 in 2014; Washington, D.C., with two compared to three in 2015; Ohio with 12 compared to 15 last year; and Delaware, which had not reported any anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2014 and 2015, with one this year.

“In each of those places, it looks like hate crimes have gone up,” Levin said. “Whether that will translate through the end of the year, we’ll see.”

Recent bombing attack

The California State University’s findings come as Saturday’s bombings in New York and New Jersey blamed on an Afghan-American have touched off fears of a violent public backlash against Muslim Americans.

But while terrorist attacks can stoke anti-Muslim hate crime, political rhetoric can be just as powerful in inciting violence against the community — or checking it, Levin said.

His team looked at two major political statements over the past 15 years: President George W. Bush’s call for tolerance shortly after the 9/11 attacks and Trump’s controversial announcement of a ban on Muslims entering the country.

While anti-Muslim violence soared after Sept. 11, Bush’s “Islam is Peace” speech at a Washington mosque led to a “precipitous decline” in attacks on Muslims, Levin said. By contrast, in the days after Trump’s Dec. 7, 2015, Muslim-ban speech, there was an 87 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crime, he said.

“To put things in perspective, the average anti-Muslim hate crime per month for the preceding five years (before Trump’s speech) was 12.6,” he said.

Cases underestimated

Levin’s report is largely in line with other recent studies, but he and other experts were quick to note that hate crime studies vastly underestimate the problem.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics, for example, estimates the number of hate crime victims at between 200,000 and 300,000 a year, while a 2011 Pew Research survey showed that 6 percent of Muslim Americans had reported being threatened or harassed.

The study “may be the tip of the iceberg, but still it can tell you what’s underneath,” said James Nolan, a professor of sociology at West Virginia University and a former hate crime data analyst for the FBI.

The U.S. Department of Justice says it has aggressively prosecuted or provided support for state prosecutions of hate crimes targeting Muslims and other minority groups. However, only a fraction of these crimes get prosecuted as hate crimes, experts say.

That is because it is easier to prosecute a case based on bodily injury or property damage than to establish a religious motive.

“The idea of just recognising it and reporting it and naming it and calling it what it is an initial first step,” Nolan said. “But then from that, there should be more in terms of investigation, prosecution, prevention, all involving the government, the police and citizens, everyone.

“We should be talking about it more particularly at this time when we’re seeing a spike,” he said. (VOA)

Next Story

Nearly 58% of Rohingya Refugees are Kids Suffering from Severe Malnutrition, Says UN Report

The report highlights the dangers these Rohingya minors faced during the attacks when they were in Myanmar or when they were fleeing the repression to Bangladesh.

0
14
Rohingya
Displaced Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine. Wikimedia.

Bangladesh, October 20, 2017 : Nearly fifty-eight per cent of the about 600,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children who suffer from severe malnutrition, a UN report released said.

The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) report also said that these children were highly exposed to infectious diseases, Efe news reported.

“In a sense it’s no surprise that they must truly see this place as a hell on earth,” said Simon Ingram, Unicef official and author of the report.

Titled “Outcast and Desperate: Rohingya refugee children face a perilous future” was released at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

After two weeks in Cox’s Bazar, a southern Bangladesh town where nearly 600,000 newly arrived refugees are crammed into a crowd of 200,000 Rohingyas who had fled earlier, Ingram described the situation fraught with “despair, misery and indescribable suffering”.

The report highlights the dangers these Rohingya minors faced during the attacks when they were in Myanmar or when they were fleeing the repression to Bangladesh.

The report also highlighted several drawings of children with uniformed soldiers killing people and helicopters spraying bullets from the sky.

In mid-August, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) carried out a coordinated attack on security posts in Myanmar, sparking a violent response from the military which led to thousands of Rohingyas in Rakhine state fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh.

Ingram explained that very little is known about what is happening in Rakhine, since humanitarian agencies have not been able to enter the region since August.

Most of the refugees “are already undernourished, since the repression also included the burning of food stores and the destruction of crops”, he said.

According to the Unicef estimates, one in every five children under the age of five is suffering from acute malnutrition and about 14,500 suffer severe acute malnutrition.

Ingram explained that the main danger of infectious diseases have been mitigated with the vaccination campaign against cholera, measles and polio, but much remains to be done to tackle these risks.

He added the situation worsened with the lack of clean drinking water as these children consumed only contaminated water which is another main source of infection.

With regard to child protection, the expert welcomed the fact that the number of unaccompanied children had decreased to 800, with the identification tasks carried out by the various humanitarian agencies on the ground.

Regarding sexual abuse or forced or early marriages, Ingram explained that for now they have only punctual evidence, but that it is a real risk in any situation such as in Cox’s Bazar.

What does occur relatively frequently, he said, is child labour.

In the area of protection, the essential issue is the status of these people.

Not only do they have to be recognized as refugees, but also that newborns in the countryside or along the way, he said, should be able to obtain some kind of birth certificate.

Unicef and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are negotiating with the Bangladeshi authorities the possibility of issuing birth certificates for newborn Rohingyas, but the talks are still in process.

The Rohingyas are a Muslim minority that Myanmar does not recognize as citizens and are therefore stateless. (IANS)

 

Next Story

UN Report on Rohingya Hunger Crisis Suspended on Order of Myanmar Government

The current crisis began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police checkpoints on Myanmar's Rakhine state and killed 12 security personnel.

0
4
Rohingya
Rohingya refugees collect aid supplies including food and medicine, sent from Malaysia, at Kutupalang Unregistered Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Feb. 15, 2017, VOA

United Nations, October 17, 2017: The UN food aid agency withdrew a critical report revealing desperate hunger among the Rohingya Muslim minority after the Myanmar government ordered it to be taken down, the media reported on Tuesday.

The July assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that more than 80,000 children under the age of five were “wasting” – a potentially fatal condition of rapid weight loss, reports the Guardian.

The six-page document has since been replaced with a statement saying Myanmar and WFP were “collaborating on a revised version”.

That process would involve “representatives from various ministries, and will respond to the need for a common approach” that was in line with “WFP’s future cooperation with the government”.

When asked why the July report was removed, the WFP said it was withdrawn from the website “following a request by the government to conduct a joint review”, the Guardian reported.

In a statement, the agency said: “The WFP stands by its original assessment, which was conducted jointly with local authorities in Rakhine state… However WFP recognises that in a dynamic and evolving situation, it is important to coordinate closely with all partners, including the government.”

Meanwhile, the UN’s most senior official in the country is scheduled to leave at the end of the month amid allegations she suppressed another report and also attempted to shut down public advocacy on Rohingya suffering.

The current crisis began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police checkpoints on Myanmar’s Rakhine state and killed 12 security personnel.

It resulted in over half a million Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh, many alleging that the Myanmar Army conducted a counter-offensive that included mass killings and rapes.(IANS)

Next Story

Stop Lecturing And Demonizing India over its Plan to Deport 40,000 Stateless Rohingya Muslims: Minister

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants, despite claiming centuries-old roots

0
17
Rohingya refugee girl
Rohingya refugee watch children attend madrass in a temporary shelter on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Wednesday, Aug.16,2017. VOA
  • Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have slammed India’s deportation plan as “outrageous”
  • The government says the Rohingya Muslims are illegal immigrants and should deported because they pose a potential security threat
  • There is no other country in the world which hosts so many refugees, so don’t demonize us, don’t give us lecture
Rights groups should stop lecturing and demonizing India over its plan to deport 40,000 stateless Rohingya and recognize that the country has treated millions of refugees from across the world humanely, a senior official said this week.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing government says the Rohingya Muslims who have fled to India because of persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar are illegal immigrants and should deported because they pose a potential security threat.

“India is the most humane nation in the world,” said junior interior minister Kiren Rijiju, defending an order to states to identify and deport the Rohingya — including 16,500 registered with the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR).

“There is no other country in the world which hosts so many refugees, so don’t demonize us, don’t give us lecture,” Rijiju said.

Hundreds of thousands have fled Myanmar, where they are marginalized and sometimes subjected to communal violence, with many taking refuge in Bangladesh — and some then crossing a porous border into Hindu-majority India.

FILE - Children of Rohingya refugees attend a temporary school run by a nongovernmental organization at a camp for Rohingyas in New Delhi, India, Aug. 16, 2017.
FILE – Children of Rohingya refugees attend a temporary school run by a nongovernmental organization at a camp for Rohingyas in New Delhi, India, Aug. 16, 2017. VOA

On Monday, Myanmar security forces intensified operations against Rohingya insurgents, following three days of clashes with militants in the worst violence involving the Muslim minority in five years.

Indian minister Rijiju said registration with the UNHCR was irrelevant.

India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, which spells out states’ responsibilities toward refugees. Nor does it have a domestic law to protect refugees.

ALSO READ: Refugees in India Looming For Basic Rights: Here Is Why India Needs Refugee Law! 

The Rohingya will be sent back from India in a humane way, following due legal processes, Rijiju added.

“We are not going to shoot them, nor are we planning to throw them in the ocean,” he said Monday.

Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have slammed India’s deportation plan as “outrageous.”

Asia’s third-largest economy is bound by customary international law — the principle of non-refoulement — where it cannot forcibly return refugees to a place where they face danger, they say. (VOA)