As the inflammatory rhetoric over Muslim refugees grows, so does the violence towards American Muslims.
Muslims in the United States have faced an increasingly hostile environment following the attacks in Paris, and more recently San Bernardino, creating an environment filled with hateful rhetoric. Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner for 2016, called a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Another Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, said that the U.S. should only accept Christians from Syria and bar Muslim refugees because "there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror.”
"Even before the recent attacks, hate crimes and threats against Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans were at the highest they had been since 9/11. Now, we are seeing an even more significant rise in reports of discrimination and violence against American Muslims or those who appear to be Muslim," said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Hina Shamsi in a statement.
This article is beyond disturbing, but believable. A cursory internet search shows that in a nation where politicians running for the White House extol the necessity of religious freedom, Muslim owned shops are being set alight or vandalized with Nazi imagery in Grand Forks, North Dakota, a severed pig's head is being hurled at a mosque in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and a Muslim sixth grader is being attacked by her classmates in New York City, New York. Acts like these cast a pall over true religious freedom, while demonstrating the cowardice and paranoia of those who would attack their fellow Americans for their religion.