An American-Muslim group says incidents of hate crimes and other discrimination against Muslims in the United States are on the rise. The group said Muslims especially face delays in their efforts to attain U.S. citizenship. VOA’s Stephanie Ho reports from Washington.

The 2007 annual report of the group CAIR, or the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reports what it says is an increase in anti-Muslim discrimination and harassment in the United States. The group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, says this finding continues a trend that his group pointed out in its first report 10 years ago.

“We notice there is 25 percent increase in the total number of complaints of anti-Muslim bias from 2005 to 2006,” said . “We see this as an alarming sign because we have not witnessed a major decrease in these cases since we started reporting this.”

The study says there were more than 2,400 incidents of anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment in the United States last year, compared to more than 1,900 in 2005.

Report author Arsalan Iftikhar says he is especially concerned with what he says are unfair delays Muslims face in their quest to become naturalized American citizens.

“One of the most significant increases we’ve seen in the types of alleged abuse was the concept of citizenship delays,” said Arsalan Iftikhar.


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