After converting to Islam in 2015, Mexican-Spanish American Eloisa Oropeza, 20, of Brooklyn, claims she’s felt persecuted on two levels: as a Mexican and as a Muslim.
Recalling a recent incident of being verbally attacked for both, Oropeza said, “All of this is going to continue happening now that we have Donald Trump as President, especially when he talks about kicking out immigrants and banning Muslims from the country.”
ICE raids and reports of mosques being vandalized have caused fear among Latino Muslims, who are currently the fastest growing group in America’s Muslim population. “More than 100,000 of the United States’ 3.3 million Muslims are believed to be Latino,” according to data from the Pew Research Center.
A new report this week on Islamophobia comes from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, otherwise known as CAIR. According to the FBI, CAIR has connections to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. CAIR claims their research finds that reported anti-Muslim bias incidents are on the rise. “Hate crimes rose 44% in the wake of the presidential election, with 260 in 2016, up from 180 last year.”
The report goes on to state that Trump entered the White House with “an unprecedented record of conditioning audiences to fear Muslims” and used “Dangerous political rhetoric combined with deeply negative views of Islam and Muslims throughout 2016. This brew, mixed with the erroneous placement of collective blame on every individual Muslim for the acts of a noxious few, contributed to a significant and distressing rise in incidents of Islamophobic bias.”
Puerto Rican-born attorney Wilfredo Ruiz is communications director at CAIR Florida. He says his chapter is receiving an increasing number of calls relating to hate crimes or discrimination incidents.
“The situation in Florida is, unfortunately, an example of the many expressions of hate,” he said, noting that anti-Latino, anti-Muslim sentiments could be attributed to Trump’s promise to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and his travel ban on countries that sponsor terrorism, which Ruiz considers to be a “Muslim ban”.
“He (Trump) has presented both the Hispanic and Muslim minorities as threats to the nation and that it needs to be protected from them,” Ruiz said. “That rhetoric, especially about Hispanics, was absent after 9/11, but we’re witnessing it now.”
Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director at CAIR, claims that the recent spate of terror attacks, including those in Ft. Hood, San Bernardino, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Minnesota, Ohio, and throughout the European countries of France, Germany, Sweden, and England, along with the rise of ISIS are not representative of true Islam.
“The (American) Muslim community has consistently and repeatedly condemned terrorism and religious extremism,” he said.
H/T: NY Daily News
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