Incidents involving hate and discrimination against Muslims in California increased by 10 percent in 2016, according to an annual civil rights report released Tuesday, Aug. 29, by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The report, which covers the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento includes complaints with regard to hate crimes, hate incidents, bullying in schools, interactions with law enforcement and discrimination with regard to employment, housing, immigration and travel.
A hate crime is defined as a criminal incident that causes damage to person or property; a hate incident is a non-criminal act such as a verbal attack.
The report shows California handled 1,239 incidents in 2016, an increase in civil rights complaints from the year prior.
“That’s on top of a 34 percent increase in 2015 compared to 2014,” said Masih Fouladi, advocacy manager at Anaheim-based CAIR-LA, which represents Muslim communities in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.
“In Southern California, in 2016, we saw a pretty big increase in hate crimes, hate incidents, employment and travel discrimination.”
The report shows a 49 percent rise statewide in discriminatory treatment against Muslims during travel from 2015 to 2016, incidents that often involved unexplained detention of individuals traveling from Muslim-majority countries. Those numbers are expected to increase in 2017 as a result of the Trump administration’s controversial travel ban, Fouladi said.
The categories receiving the most incident reports for 2016 were immigration (38.8 percent), law enforcement interactions (17 percent), hate incidents or hate crimes (14.7 percent) and employment discrimination (10.6 percent). Immigration incidents involved cases where applications for visas or citizenship were held up.
Fouladi said the number of Muslims reporting discrimination has…