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  • A demonstrator shouts and carries a “Stop Islam” sign during a “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

    A demonstrator shouts and carries a “Stop Islam” sign during a “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. | Photo: Reuters

Published 3 May 2016

"Children and youth—as young as 12 years old—were among those responsible for acts and threats of anti-Muslim violence,” said a new report.

Islamophobic attacks in the United States have risen since the launch of the U.S. presidential campaign, a new study from Georgetown University reveals.

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The report, released Monday, notes that Islamophobia in the U.S. was already steadily rising in recent years, but the presidential election campaign seems to have prompted a significant spike in aggression towards Muslims across the country.

From March 2015, when Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he would for the Republican Party nomination, to March 2016, the report says authorities registered 180 incidences of violence towards Muslims, including “12 murders; 34 physical assaults; 49 verbal assaults or threats against persons and institutions.”

Muslims have also been the victims of “56 acts of vandalism or destruction of property; 9 arson attacks; and 8 shootings or bombings, among other incidents.”

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Disturbingly, the reports says “children and youth—as young as 12 years old—were among those responsible for acts and threats of anti-Muslim violence” and that U.S. Muslim men were twice as likely to be victims of physical of assaults compared to Muslim women.

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Islamophobia has been a common theme on the Republican side. After the Paris and the San Bernardino terror attacks, front-runner Donald Trump called for a “total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and for the closing of mosques across the country.

That appears to have spurred acts of violence. Some 53 attacks on Muslims were recorded in December 2015 alone, "17 of which targeted mosques and Islamic schools and five of which targeted Muslim homes,” the report said.

“By comparison, when the presidential election season began just nine months earlier (in March 2015), there were only two anti-Muslim attacks." By December, "anti-Muslim attacks occurred almost daily and often multiple times a day.”


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