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An Increase in Harassment Against Jewish and Muslim Americans Has Been Reported Since Hamas Attacks
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By Associated Press
Published 6 months ago on
October 26, 2023

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Muslim and Jewish civil rights groups say they’ve seen large increases in reports of harassment, bias and sometimes physical assaults against members of their communities since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.

Increased Reports of Harassment and Violence

The Anti-Defamation League and the Council on American-Islamic Relations saw increases in reported instances, many involving violence or threats against protesters at rallies in support of Israel or in support of Palestinians over the last two weeks as war broke out between Israel and Hamas. Other attacks and harassment reported by the groups were directed at random Muslim or Jewish people in public.

Statistics on Reported Bias-Related Acts

A spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Wednesday that the organization’s chapters and national office had received 774 reports of bias-related acts between Oct. 7 and Oct. 24. The national headquarters had 110 direct reports during that period, compared to 63 for all of August. The council’s leaders believe it’s the largest wave of complaints since December 2015, when then-presidential candidate Donald Trump declared his intent to ban Muslim immigration to the U.S. in the wake of the San Bernadino mass shooting that left 14 people dead.

Recent Incidents of Violence

The reported acts since Oct. 7 include an Illinois landlord fatally stabbing a 6-year-old Muslim boy and wounding the boy’s mother, police say, as well as the arrest of a Michigan man after police say he asked people in a social media post to join him in hunting Palestinians.

Call for Action from Public Officials

“Public officials should do everything in their power to keep the wave of hate sweeping the nation right now from spiraling out of control,” said Corey Saylor, research and advocacy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Antisemitic Acts Reported by the Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism reported in a statement Wednesday that the organization recorded at least 312 reports of antisemitic acts between Oct. 7 and Oct. 23 — compared to 64 recorded during the same time period in 2022. Those reports included graffiti, slurs or anonymous postings, as well as physical violence such as a woman being punched in the face in New York by an attacker who the league says said, “You are Jewish.”

International Reports of Antisemitic Acts

Jewish civil rights organizations in the United Kingdom, France and other countries across Europe, Latin America, North Africa and elsewhere have also tracked increases in antisemitic acts in the past few weeks compared to 2022. League officials said London police had received 218 reports of antisemitic crimes between Oct. 1 and Oct. 18, which was 13 times greater than the numbers reported in 2022.

 

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