Hate crimes have been a recurring act against groups of people for a while and although we are supposed to be a world of progression it seems we are taking several steps back.
These actions became most prevalent after September 11, 2001. The attacks sparked a rash of violence and resulted in people unfairly profiling American citizens solely based on their physical appearance, many of whom weren’t even Muslim. After 9/11, there were several stories about people who appeared to be Muslim being verbally and physically attacked by ignorant individuals. Although this sounds like a sad chapter in our past and something we could look back at and learn from, it appears that is not the case. This year the number of hate crimes has significantly increased.
The number of hate crimes had appeared to drop for several years between 2001 and now, but recently there have been reports of many instances of violence or verbal abuse taking place. According to CNN, “That is the highest number since 2001, when the Al Qaeda attacks on New York and elsewhere drove the number to its highest ever level.”
Many suggest that there has been an increase due to the events that have taken place recently as well as in recent years, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernadino shooting, and the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando. Some also suggest that the remarks that have been made by president-elect Donald Trump have influenced and shaped the way people view Muslims. An article from the New York Times states, “that the frequency of anti-Muslim violence appeared to have increased immediately after some of Mr. Trump’s most incendiary comments.”
Last month, a disturbing incident took place in New York City against a Muslim woman, wearing a hijab (cultural headscarf). The woman was on her way to work in a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Uniform, when she was approached by a man who called her a terrorist and then proceeded to state that she should not be allowed to work with the city. The NYPD also states that the incident turned violent once the victim went to get off the train. The woman herself hasn’t spoke out on the incident but, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke on the issue saying, “I wish a speedy recovery for the victim, and want to let her know we are seeking justice for her and for all New Yorkers”.
There are many individuals who face these problems on a daily basis because of the way they look or because they speak their native language. ‘Islamophobia’ is a real problem and we as a nation should attempt to educate those who lack the knowledge to understand the real issues that are facing the world. Although this may seem like a simple task, there are many individuals who don’t have the desire to learn which is why we have unnecessary hate in the world.