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CAIR: FBI Abuses Top Anti-Muslim Incidents in First Quarter of 2018

(WASHINGTON, DC, 5/21/18) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released an update on anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in the first quarter (January-March) of 2018.

CAIR’s quarterly report indicates that FBI-related cases were the most frequent type of anti-Muslim incident in the first quarter of 2018. Such incidents constituted 31 percent of all bias reports from January to March.

READ the Full CAIR Quarterly Report on American Muslim Civil Rights

“Our civil rights office frequently receives complaints about FBI abuses. This includes invasive questioning — too often about a person’s religious beliefs and practices — at mosques and in Muslim communities, attempts to recruit Muslims as informants, the illegal use of the government’s terrorist watchlist, and investigations and border searches that appear to be based on ethnicity, nationality, religious identity, and travelling abroad to visit family,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas.

“These numbers continue the disturbing trend witnessed last year of government agencies being responsible for at least a third of all anti-Muslim incidents nationwide,” said Zainab Arain, coordinator in CAIR’s Research and Advocacy Department.

[NOTE: Bias incidents are defined as cases in which there was an identifiable element of religious discrimination. Hate crimes are criminal offenses against persons or property, or incidents that can be charged as such under relevant state or federal statute.]

The 2018 first quarter report records hate crimes, involving physical violence or property damage, as the second most frequent type of abuse.

Employment cases are the third most frequent type of anti-Muslim bias incident.

The most prevalent trigger of anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2018 remains the victim’s ethnicity or national origin, accounting for 33 percent of the total. Twenty-three percent of incidents occurred because of an individual being perceived as Muslim. A Muslim woman’s headscarf was a trigger in 16 percent of incidents.

The report dataset is drawn primarily from the intakes CAIR conducts each year. With each case, civil rights and legal staff seek to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy.

Last year, CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents and is urging Muslims to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

The Washington-based organization’s recently-released 2018 Civil Rights Report, “Targeted,” showed a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents against American Muslims from 2016 to 2017, and a 15 percent increase in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in that same time period.

New CAIR Report: Trump’s Muslim Bans Increased Anti-Muslim Discrimination, Violence

Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at:       

CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair. com/app     

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, 720-251-0425,; CAIR Research and Advocacy Department Coordinator Zainab Arain, 202-742-6410,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, 

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