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  • A demonstrator shouts and carries a “Stop Islam” sign outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015.

    A demonstrator shouts and carries a “Stop Islam” sign outside the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, Arizona on May 29, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 June 2016

A new report has outlined a disturbing increase in Islamophobic attacks in the U.S.

A new report published Monday has revealed that 33 Islamophobic groups in the U.S. had access to over US$205 million between 2008 and 2013.

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According to the report “Confronting Fear,” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, and the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley, this money was used “to spread fear and hatred of Muslims.”

The study analyzed publicly listed tax filings to calculate that Islamophobic groups earned at least US$205,838,077 in revenue.

The staggering figure is indicative of a broader trend of increased hostility toward Islam and Muslims, the report states.

Photo: CAIR

Not only are there more Islamophobic groups in the U.S.,up from 69 in 2013 to 74 in 2016, according to the report, instance of violent attacks are also on the rise.

In 2015, more attacks on mosques were reported than any other year since 2009. A total of 78 mosques were attacked—triple the number of the past two years.

Last year, also saw the highest number of cases of vandalism, destruction of property and intimidation against Muslim people.

Also raising concern, the report indicates, is the influence of anti-Islamic groups on government legislation.

According to the report, anti-Islam bills became laws in 10 U.S. states, including Florida and Tennessee where lawmakers “have passed laws revising the way they approve textbooks for classroom use as a direct result of anti-Islam campaigns.”

Photo: CAIR

The rise of Islamophobia is partially attributed to the anti-Muslim political rhetoric espoused by figures like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

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“The 2016 presidential election has mainstreamed Islamophobia and resulted in a number of un-constitutional proposals targeting Muslims,” said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia.

During the presidential contest, Trump demanded a “total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” and for mosques across the U.S. to be closed.

“Confronting Fear” echoes earlier findings linking hate speach in presidential campaigning to the increased number of attacks against Muslim people.

In May, a study from Georgetown University found that from March 2015, when Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced he would for the Republican Party nomination, to March 2016, authorities registered 180 incidences of violence toward Muslims, including “12 murders; 34 physical assaults; 49 verbal assaults or threats against persons and institutions.”

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