Today, the Facebook account Muslims of America posted a story which described how one person’s mother was physically assaulted and humiliated because of her expression of the Islamic faith.
Farad Afshar, a student at Chabot Community College in Hayward, Northern California, posted to Instagram two days ago that his mother was targeted by a group of men while leaving her local Walmart. The men smashed eggs onto the woman’s head and body, presumably because she was wearing hijab.
This hate-based incident is just one example of how ignorance and fear of the unknown fuels injustice in the United States.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations has reported a spike in hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims after the Orlando shooting, in which a U.S.-born, Muslim man killed 49 people at a gay night club. However this may be true, as Huffington Post reported, fear of Muslims in the U.S. is nothing new.
In a report on Islamophobia which CAIR issued at the end of June, they published that a 2015 review of 179 polls spanning the last 22 years concluded that “Islam is unfamiliar to most Americans, and unfavorable to many.”
Americans tend to view Islam as “more violent” than other religions. Since 9/11, Georgetown reports that approximately one-quarter of the population has called for surveillance, profiling, and special IDs for people of the Islamic faith.
Anti-Islam prejudice extends into the workplace. In a study by the University of Connecticut in 2014, researchers determined that employers are less likely to respond to a job application if there is evidence that the applicant is Muslim.
In the same report by Georgetown's Bridge Initiative, it was noted that in 2015 American Muslims make up less than two percent of the U.S. population. They are known to be the most racially diverse religious group in the U.S., with African-Americans making up the largest contingent at 35 percent.
Georgetown's research has proven that people who know a Muslim personally have a decreased likelihood of holding an anti-Islam bias and are more likely to view Muslims as peaceful.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters, Regis Duvignau