The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, released a preliminary report on incidents targeting American mosques and religious institutions in 2015 that shows a greater frequency of damage, destruction, vandalism, and intimidation than in any other year since CAIR started tracking such cases in 2009.
Of the total of 71 incidents to date in 2015, 29 occurred since the November 13 terror attacks in Paris. Of those 29 incidents, 15 occurred prior to the December 3 San Bernardino killings and 14 took place after that attack. CAIR’s preliminary data is being issued in advance of a soon-to-be-released comprehensive report on Islamophobia in the United States.
It is highly likely that the numbers below significantly underreport the actual number of incidents. Our incidents are collected from news searches and incidents reported to CAIR. Conversations with local community leaders often reveal that they do not report mosque incidents to media, CAIR or law enforcement.
Damage-Destruction-Vandalism (DDV): Incidents involving property damage.
Harassment: Demonstrations or acts that involve Islamophobic slurs.
Intimidation: Threats of violence or other acts apparently intended to cause fear in those targeted by the act. This category includes armed anti-Islam demonstrations and placing severed pig’s heads on mosque property.
Zoning: Islamophobic issues raised during zoning proceedings. We include an incident in the zoning category only if bias is clearly identified in zoning proceedings. Places of worship of many faiths routinely face opposition from neighbors due to traffic or land use concerns. Incidents where no bias is independently identified are not including in our counts.