Anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian discrimination in the US reached record high in 2023

Reported discrimination and attacks against Muslims and Palestinians reached a record high in the US in 2023, driven by rising Islamophobia and bias as the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza raged late in the year, data from an advocacy group shows.

Complaints totaled 8,061 in 2023, a 56% rise from the year before and the highest since the Council on American-Islamic Relations began records nearly 30 years ago. About 3,600 of those incidents occurred from October to December, CAIR says.

Human rights advocates have similarly reported a global rise in Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian bias and antisemitism since the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught in southern Israel and subsequent war in the Gaza Strip.

US incidents have included the fatal October stabbing of 6-year-old Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume in Illinois, the November shooting of three students of Palestinian descent in Vermont and the February stabbing of a Palestinian American man in Texas.

CAIR’s report says 2023 saw a “resurgence of anti-Muslim hate” after the first-ever recorded annual drop in complaints in 2022. In the first nine months of 2023, such incidents averaged around 500 a month before jumping to nearly 1,200 a month in the last quarter.

“The primary force behind this wave of heightened Islamophobia was the escalation of violence in Israel and Palestine in October 2023,” the report says.

The most numerous complaints in 2023 were in the categories of immigration and asylum, employment discrimination, hate crimes and education discrimination, CAIR says.

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