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Editorial: Our Fellow Citizens: Supporting the Rights of Muslim Americans.

According to FBI statistics for 2014, Jews were far more likely than members of other religious groups to be the victims of religiously motivated hate crimes. Despite Jews' small numbers, 59 percent of the year's 6,400 religious bias crimes were against Jews; to take one point of comparison, Catholics, who make up about a fifth of the country, accounted for only 6 percent of victims. The FBI said that hate crimes against Jews were down last year, but the Anti-Defamation League, which keeps its own statistics, said that 2014 was a particularly bad year for anti-Semitism, with incidents up 21 percent over the previous year.

And yet, it feels like those under increasingly sharp attacks are Muslims in America. Muslims made up 14 percent of victimsan enviably low number, compared to what Jews sufferedbut their numbers were up 14 percent in a year. And one imagines that when the numbers for 2015 are in, Muslims will appear worse off still. Reverberations from the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino are threatening to inflame bigotry toward all Muslims (and toward non-Muslim Arabs, and dark-skinned Hindus, Sikhs, and others). The sight of refugees in Europe has, instead of provoking Americans' compassion, sometimes scared them, and made them more fearful of immigrants, Muslim and otherwise. Hateful and ignorant comments coming from presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, who this week called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," threaten to make Islamophobia mainstream.

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Author:Editorial
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Dec 10, 2015
Words:258
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