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The Hate Spiral Of 2016: 701 Acts Of ‘Hateful Harassment’ Since Election Day

Above Photo: Enas Almadhwahi, an immigration outreach organizer for the Arab American Association of New York, stands for a photo along Fifth Avenue in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, in New York. American Muslims are reeling over Donald Trump’s victory, wondering what the next four years will bring after a campaign in which he proposed creating a national database of Muslims, monitoring all mosques and banning some or all Muslims from entering the country. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Southern Poverty Law Center has documented 701 incidents targeting Muslims, immigrants, LGBT people, women, blacks, and other minorities since Election Day.

MINNEAPOLIS — There have been at least 361 incidents of anti-Muslim violence and harassment in 2016, an average of more than one incident per day.

Even before the election of President-elect Donald Trump, a wave of Islamophobic hate crimes and anti-Muslim incidents throughout the year drew comparisons to the aftermath of 9/11, when many Muslims were afraid to go out in public.

By Oct. 30, there had been 310 anti-Muslim incidents, according to a project to track Islamophobia created by two Huffington Post reporters, Christopher Mathias and Rowaida Abdelaziz.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reported on Friday that it had documented an additional 51 incidents targeting Muslims in the days immediately following the election. These incidents, spanning Nov. 9 to 16, have not yet appeared in the Huffington Post’s project.

Of their Islamophobia tracking site, Mathias and Abdelaziz wrote:

“After last year’s terror attacks in Paris and mass shooting in San Bernardino, California — and amidst a surge in anti-Muslim rhetoric from U.S. politicians — reports about Muslims in America facing violence, harassment, intimidation and bigotry have become omnipresent. Many Muslims say Islamophobia is worse now than it’s ever been — even worse than it was after 9/11.”

While acknowledging that “it might be impossible to create a comprehensive list of discriminatory acts against American Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim,” the pair use firsthand accounts and news reports to document as many incidents as possible.

Some recent incidents included in their list include an Oct. 30 attack in which a Somali man in San Diego was assaulted by three men using brass knuckles and a chair, and an Oct. 26 proposal by Oklahoma state Rep. John Bennett to pass a law banning pro-Muslim advocacy NGOs from the state.

“We’re tracking Islamophobic incidents across the U.S., because the only way to stop hate is to confront it,” Mathis and Abdelaziz wrote.

Although the site hasn’t been updated to reflect the first three weeks of this month, preliminary reports suggest Islamophobic incidents have been on the rise since the election of Donald Trump. The Republican candidate, who frequently used Islamophobic rhetoric on the campaign trail and threatened to create a registry for Muslim immigrants, has already appointed Michael Flynn, a notoriously anti-Muslim former Army general, to serve as his national security advisor.

The SPLC found a total of 701 incidents of “hateful harassment” since Election Day, including actions targeting people of color, women, LGBT individuals, and other groups in addition to Muslims.

The nonprofit legal advocacy group counted 206 incidents targeting immigrants since Trump’s election. This was the most prevalent form of harassment in their report, followed by 151 incidents targeting blacks and 80 targeting LGBT individuals. There were also 60 reports of swastika-related vandalism.

The SPLC also documented 27 incidents of harassment targeting Trump supporters.

Tragically, the media is reporting anti-Muslim attacks faster than analysts can track them. On Monday, the New York Post reported that two Muslim teens from the New York City borough of Queens were attacked by four white men “who spewed religious hatred” on Saturday night. One of the teens, a 17-year-old Yemeni student, suffered a fractured eye socket after being punched in the face.

“We condemn this apparently bias-motivated attack, just as we similarly condemn all the hundreds of racist and Islamophobic incidents reported since the November 8 election,” said Afaf Nasher, executive director at the New York branch of Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a press release.

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