Press Releases

CAIR Issues New Report Detailing 6000+ American Muslim Civil Rights Complaints

‘Resilience in the Face of Hate’ shows 9% increase in complaints since 2018, decrease in hate crimes due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown 

(WASHINGTON, D.C, 4/26/2021) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released its latest report on the civil rights of American Muslims, titled “Resilience in the Face of Hate,” detailing more than 6,000 civil rights complaints the Washington, D.C., based group received in the past year, with the largest number of complaints involving immigration and travel-related issues and employment discrimination accounting for the majority of discrimination complaints.  

CAIR’s new report also outlines the civil rights group’s major legal achievements in 2019 and 2020, its efforts proactively empower American Muslims and CAIR’s role in seeking hate crime investigations by law enforcement authorities. 



[NOTE: Media outlets interested in verbally posing a question during the news conference may email CAIR Research & Advocacy Coordinator Huzaifa Shahbaz at to request an access link to the program. Please share your name and the name of your media outlet. If you do not plan to ask a question, you may watch the program live at: ]

Key findings of CAIR’s report include:

  • CAIR received a total of 6,144 complaints nationwide in 2020 involving a range of issues, including discrimination, immigration and travel restrictions, bias incidents, incarceree rights, law enforcement, and school-related incidents, among other reported issues. 
  • There was a 9 percent increase in complaints received since our previous civil rights report, “Targeted,” which was published in 2018.  
  • CAIR recorded 1,814 complaints regarding immigration and travel-related issues, one of the most frequent complaints we received.  
  • There was a 20 percent decrease in reported hate crimes to CAIR in 2020, which was likely caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.  
  • Employment discrimination accounted for 57 percent of all discrimination complaints making it the most common form of discrimination reported to CAIR. 

Breakdown of Civil Rights Data 

Amid a deadly pandemic, CAIR continued to receive an increase in complaints of anti-Muslim bias incidents. In 2020, CAIR received a total of 6,144 complaints. The top six complaint topics are:

  • Immigration and Travel – 1,814 
  • Discrimination – 1,151 (Employment discrimination accounted for 57% of all discrimination complaints) 
  • Law Enforcement & Government Overreach – 439  
  • Hate/Bias Incidents – 241 
  • Incarceree Rights – 326 
  • School Incidents = 114 (Bullying accounted for 44% of all school-related complaints) 

“This important report clearly shows the need for continued vigilance in defense of civil rights for American Muslims and members of all other minority communities,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “It is vital that those challenging growing bigotry and hate receive the support they need to meet this critical challenge.”  

CAIR’s 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.     


CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,