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New poll reveals Muslims in NYC dealing with increased racism, threats at early ages

Out of 200 Muslims surveyed, 49 percent said they were victims of a hate crime
Men attend Friday prayer at the Ar-Rahama Mosque in the Bronx, New York (AFP)

A new report from the Muslim Community Network reveals that between 2019 and 2022, 76 percent of Muslims in New York City witnessed a hate crime and 49 percent were victims of such acts.

The report surveying 200 Muslims intended to shed more light on the challenges they face living in the city. The report revealed that hate crimes can happen as early as elementary school.

Out of 116 Muslims surveyed in 2019, the researchers found that 43.5 percent of 10 to 18-year-old respondents said they experienced or witnessed a hate crime.

Those numbers increased in the first half of 2022 with nearly half, 49 percent, saying they were victims of a hate crime, and 76 percent said they had witnessed a hate crime. The polling from 2022 included 100 people.

"People pulling off students' hijabs, spitting on someone, mostly verbal abuse, calling someone a terrorist,” advocacy program manager Ajifanta Marenah, said.

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The Network hopes the poll will help convince the city council to reintroduce and pass Resolution 1257, which would allow the department of education to introduce religious diversity courses in the school curriculum.

"And provide professional development training to educators. The hate crimes are not just coming from youth to youth. It's also educators' lack of knowledge about the religions,” Marenah stated.

While the sample size was small, the Muslim Community Network’s poll follows data released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) last year, showing that hate crimes in 2021 against Jews and Muslims in New York City more than tripled compared to the previous year.

The total number of hate crimes in NYC doubled in 2021, with 503 reported hate crimes that were investigated by the NYPD. In 2020, there were 252.

According to the police department, the driving force for these numbers was anti-Asian hate crimes, which went from 28 incidents in 2020 to 129 this year. Antisemitic crimes went from 121 to 183, and anti-Muslim crimes increased from four last year to 14 this year, tripling in volume.

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