Number of Islamophobic groups tripled in the 2015-2016 year in U.S.

Thu, 16.02.2017 16:18

The number of anti-Muslim groups in the United States tripled between 2015 and 2016 - a surge likely fueled by hate rhetoric used by President Donald Trump during his presidential bid, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The center, a non-profit legal advocacy organization which specializes in civil rights, also found in a report that the overall number of hate groups rose for the second consecutive year, USA Today reported.

The number of anti-Muslim organizations grew from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year, according to the center. The number of hate groups rose from 892 to 917 - the second largest number of hate groups recorded since the center began collecting such data in 1990. The largest number was 1,018 in 2011. The Montgomery,-Ala. based center announced the news as part of its annual census of hate groups and extremist organizations, as documented in its Intelligence Report.

The center attributed the rise to what it characterized as hate rhetoric used by Trump during his campaign for the White House, and his choice of Steve Bannon, executive chair of the far-right Breitbart News, as assistant and chief strategist. The center also blamed a growing fear about terrorism and terror attacks.

"2016 was an unprecedented year for hate," center senior fellow and Intelligence Report editor Mark Potok said. "The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we've made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists. In Steve Bannon, these extremists think they finally have an ally who has the president's ear."

During the campaign, Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as rapists and retweeted social media posts from white supremacists, including one inaccurate post claiming black Americans were responsible for 80% of the murders of white Americans, the SPLC reported.

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Source: tasnimnews.com

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