Trump's rhetoric has increased hate-crimes against American Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, report finds
By Barfi Culture Team
1st February 2018

The rhetoric and policies of President Trump have directly contributed to a big increase in hate crimes against South Asian Americans, a new report says.

Titled 'Communities on Fire', it documented 302 incidents of hate violence and abuse aimed at people of South Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds in the U.S..

It found that an "astounding" 82% of these hate-crimes were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.

The report is published by South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a long-established national, non-partisan organisation that fights for racial justice.

Its diagnosis is not unusual. Last year the FBI reported that hate-crimes in the U.S. had risen sharply for the second straight year. Earlier, the respected group SPLC identified almost 900 incidents of harassment following Trump's win in Nov 2016.

The 302 incidents that SAALT recorded were a 45% increase from the year before. The number of hate-crimes have reached post-9/11 levels it says.

SAALT's report also draws a direct line between Trump's agenda and increasing attacks. Of the 213 documented incidents of hate violence, one in five perpetrators invoked Trump’s name, his policies or campaign slogans.

In other words, Trump's rhetoric against non-white Americans have strongly impacted not just Muslims but Sikhs and Hindus too.

This should not come as a surprise. The first fatal victim of a hate-crime in the aftermath of 9/11 was a Sikh man, Balbir Singh Sodhi.

The FBI found that nearly 60% of hate-crime victims were targeted because of their race / ethnicity, while 21.1% of victims were targeted because of their perceived religion.

"Our nation prides itself on the freedom for people of all religious traditions to practice their faith without fear or intimidation,” said Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT.

"However, through its policies and rhetoric, this administration’s incessant demonization of Islam has created an environment of hate and fear-mongering for Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim. Deadly shootings, torched mosques, vandalized homes and businesses, and young people harassed at school have animated an acutely violent post-election year," she added.

Hijabi women faced a large brunt of the attacks, the report found, accounting for 63% of the documented hate incidents targeting women.

It was written by Dr. Radha Modi from the University of Illinois, Chicago, covering the period from November 8th, 2016 to November 7th, 2017.

The full report is here (PDF).

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