(WASHINGTON DC – February 19, 2016) Today, UMAA representatives will attend the White House Hate Crimes Interagency Meeting to discuss hate crimes and discrimination faced by Muslims in the United States.
This interagency effort focuses on hate violence across communities and holds quarterly meetings with stakeholders and government agencies. During the last meeting in November, groups requested that our next meeting focus on bigotry, harassment, and attacks on Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim.
When the initiative was announced in 2014, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) praised the effort, noting the group will work in collaboration with a number of South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and Arab ally organizations.
In its latest report, a three-year study called “Under Suspicion, Under Attack,” SAALT found nearly 160 instances almost evenly split between xenophobic rhetoric and hate violence targeting these communities. The report, an update to an earlier post-9/11 survey, found the rhetoric had become, “more frequent, more insidious, and more likely to be featured on a national platform,” and the attacks had “expanded in volume, as well as intensity.”
Over a five year period (2009-2013), the Department of Justice charged 201 defendants on federal hate crimes or related charges, an increase of almost 50% from the prior five years (2004-2008), according to Cecilia Munoz, director of the Domestic Policy Council.