Hopeful Dip in US Islamophobia


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization in the US, has reported a 23% decrease in complaints received in 2022, marking the first recorded decline since tracking began in 1995. Complaints about law enforcement and government overreach dropped by 38%, which may be attributed to the change of administration in Washington and the fallout of the January 6 insurrection. However, incidents of Islamophobia in educational settings rose by 63%, highlighting ongoing challenges. Positive developments include Ohio and Maryland enacting laws to protect athletes who observe their religious beliefs while competing. However, banking while Muslim remains a struggle due to discriminatory practices allowed under existing legislation such as the Patriot Act. The US government must take action to update account monitoring practices to prevent financial institutions from discriminating against certain types of customers, mainly Muslim, Iranian, and Arab Americans. Another area that needs attention is freedom of speech, particularly regarding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. While 35 states have passed anti-BDS legislation, a judge recently ruled in favor of a business owner who sued the city of Houston for trying to impose an anti-BDS clause in his contract with the city administration. Despite positive signs, hate remains ubiquitous, with anti-Semitic and anti-Asian hate rising and violence against brown and Black people persisting.