Civil liberties group CAIR says around two in five Muslim students have faced some form of bulling, more than twice the national average.

Two of every five Muslim students in California face endure bullying, a number that more than doubles the national average, according to an anti-Islamophobia watchdog.

The findings, presented by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) civil rights group, are based on surveys conducted with 1,500 Muslim students aged between 11 and 18, the group said in a press release.

CAIR stated that 42 percent of Muslim students in California had faced “some form” of bullying.

“Survey results show that Muslim students feel less safe, welcome and respected in their schools than other students, with 40.4 percent of respondents reporting experiencing some form of bullying, more than double the national average,” CAIR stated.

A similar study conducted for 2017 found that more than half of Muslim students in California had experienced some type of bullying.

The full report – “Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslim Students” – will be released next Wednesday.

As of 2014, a survey found that Muslims made up only around one percent of California’s population, but nearly 3.5 million Muslims reside in the United States.

The findings of CAIR’s new study come amid an uptick in Islamophobia nationwide, much of buoyed by the growth of the far right and, according to critics, energised by US President Donald Trump’s frequent resort to anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Contacted by TRT World, the White House press office did not reply to a request for a comment on this article. 

Policies targeting Muslims

During his presidential campaign, Trump vowed to shut down Muslim entry into the US and floated the idea of creating a database tracking Muslims in the country.

Since coming to office in January 2017, Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Muslims, attempting to ban travellers from several Muslim-majority countries and slashing the number of refugees – many of them coming from Muslim-majority countries – allowed to resettle in the country.

Earlier this year, in March, San Diego Unified School District settled a lawsuit with five families who had challenged the district’s “Anti-Islamophobia Initiative”, an effort to reduce bullying targeting Muslim students.

Those who filed the lawsuit claimed the initiative gave special treatment to Muslim students, although Muslims and other minorities often face harassment and hate crimes at disproportionately high rates.

Hate crimes and discrimination

The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, based in California, recently released a report that found that hate crimes had grown by nine percent in 30 large US cities around the country.

According to its tally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found that hate crimes swelled by 17 percent in 2017.

Last month, CAIR released a brief that documented 10,015 anti-Muslim bias incidents since 2014.

“Not only did the number of bias incidents increase, the violent nature of the incidents also jumped,” the CAIR report noted.

“From 2014 through June of 2019, CAIR chapters across the country recorded a total of 1,164 anti-Muslim hate crimes including physical assault and property damage,” the report noted, adding that “reported hate crimes against the American Muslim community spiked after the 2015 entry of Donald Trump into the presidential elections”.

During the 2018 midterm elections, the Washington, DC-based Muslim Advocates watchdog released a report recording 80 instances of “clear anti-Muslim rhetoric” employed by political candidates in 2017 and 2018.

In many of the instances documented by Muslim Advocates, Republican political candidates drummed up fear of Muslims, attempting to link them to “terrorism”.

Earlier this week, a dinner for the notoriously anti-Muslim ACT! For America group, scheduled to take place at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, was cancelled after widespread criticism.

Scheduled as a fundraiser on November 7, the event was meant to be headlined by far-right media personality Michelle Malkin.

In 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an Alabama-based watchdog that monitors hate groups, recorded at least 100 anti-Muslim groups operating around the country.

The SPLC designates ACT! For America as a hate group.

Source: TRT World