2015 has been an unkind year to many people, including peaceful Muslim-Americans living in the United States. Bookended by atrocious crimes committed in the name of Islam, this year has seen a spike in anti-Muslim sentiment and attacks on practitioners of Islam and on mosques. Between worldwide ISIS attacks and the current political rhetoric about Muslims in America, anti-Muslim sentiment—and action—are on the rise.
Thus far, this year has seen more attacks on the Muslim community than any year before. There have been 63 documented attacks against Muslims so far in 2015, the highest number since Muslim civil rights groups began keeping track of attacks in 2009. The last highest number was in 2010 with 53 incidents.
The depth of resentment towards Muslims is growing in light of recent attacks in Paris and California, both of which were associated with ISIS radicalization. Muslims have reported being attacked in parks, on public transit, and in schools. Even Muslim congressman André Carson, D-Indiana, has received death threats.
It does not help that presidential hopeful Donald Trump has made disallowing Muslims into the United States a core point of his campaign. Trump hopes to create a database of all Muslims living in the U.S., a proposal that has been met largely with harsh criticism but also with praise from some of his supporters, an alarming fact.
The anti-Muslim sentiment has become dire enough that officials at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Virginia said the firm they hired to protect their mosque has quit. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, we can’t protect you,” the firm allegedly said.
However, despite the widely-publicized activities of ISIS and the previous headliners Al Qaeda, it is crucial to remember that Muslims are people just like any other, and many of them are law-abiding, peaceful American citizens. Despite what people like Donald Trump are pushing for, vicious attacks against the Muslim community do not represent the values of the country or its legislative bodies. They deserve to be treated like the human beings they are.