Anti-Muslim graffiti defaces a Shi'ite mosque at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan. The mosque was defaced in January 2007 following a press conference about airlines’ mistreatment of Muslims returning home from a religious pilgrimage. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.)
Racial injustice often is fueled by fear and anger directed at religious and racial minorities. The tragic terror acts of September 11, 2001, released a wave of anti-Muslim hatred in the United States, resulting in racial profiling and violent attacks.
Since 9/11, people who are or appear to be Muslim or from the Middle East have been subjected to race-based traffic stops and arbitrary detention at airports. Federal officials have told Muslim women to remove their hijabs when flying, and Muslim families are routinely detained, questioned, and intrusively searched, resulting in anxiety and humiliation.
The rate of anti-Muslim hate crimes recorded by the FBI is about five times higher today (about 100-150 annually) than before 2001. In Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2012, six Sikhs - who are often mistaken for Muslims - were gunned down during a service in their temple.
Existing and proposed mosques around the country have been targeted for vandalism and destruction. Some government officials have denied zoning permits for mosques and Islamic centers out of religious bigotry, treating these facilities differently than other houses of worship, and have proposed wholly unnecessary bans on Islamic Shariah law in order to stoke fear and anger against Muslims.