ProPublica

Here Are the Hate Incidents Against Mosques and Islamic Centers Since 2013

Data from a civil rights group shows that reports of hate incidents involving American mosques jumped sharply in 2015 and has remained at the same rate since — about once every three days.

More than 370 hate incidents directed at American mosques and community centers have been tallied by the Center on American-Islamic Relations since April 2013. Most of the incidents are threats to worshipper's lives or acts of vandalism.


Zainab Arain, a coordinator at CAIR who oversees the reports, said the organization saw a spike in hate incidents against mosques during election years and after news coverage of major terrorist attacks.

"Sometimes various news stories feed into that cycle," said Arain. "After Orlando we saw a spike in incidents targeting the American-Muslim community because of the deplorable actions of an individual."

Monthly reports of hate incidents spiked after the Paris and San Bernardino attacks in late 2015 and after the 2016 presidential election.

CAIR data is compiled from two sources: incidents directly reported to the organization — often from targeted mosques seeking legal aid — and reports in the media. According to CAIR, many communities do not report incidents targeting mosques, so these numbers are likely to underreport the total number of cases that occur each year.

Using self-reported incidents and news stories to understand a phenomenon like hate crimes must be done carefully. It’s not certain whether trends reflect an increase in incidents or simply an increase in the frequency people report incidents. But CAIR believes the increase is real.

"What we’ve seen with acts of bias aimed at mosques is that during election years bias incidents increase, often because of the political rhetoric targeting a community," Arain said.

Hate Incident Reports

Out of 370 reported incidents, 221 have publicly available reports and news coverage. You can see the news coverage CAIR's public incident data is based on below. You can see the public reports provided by CAIR below.

Note: ProPublica has not researched whether any updates or follow-ups to these articles exist.

Source: Center on American-Islamic Relations

Note: ProPublica excluded 45 cases from CAIR's data, including zoning issues and incidents where it was unclear whether the mosque was targeted due to bias.