Attacks targeting mosques in 2016 spiked in June and July after the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, according to data released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Thursday. The group's figures show that 2016 is on track to have the second-most "bias incidents" against Muslim places of worship. The only other year with more attacks is 2015, which saw 79 incidents against mosques.
Muslims are the only group in America to see the rate of hate crimes against them increase rather than fall, according to the most recent FBI figures.
The incidents compiled in the CAIR report include 16 counts of intimidation, 11 counts of harassment, 16 counts of destruction or vandalism, and six counts of physical assaults. Here are just some of them:
- In Titusville, Florida, a man broke into the Islamic Society of Central Florida Masjid Al-Munin Mosque and placed raw bacon near and around the front door.
- The New York Police Department is investigating an incident in which a man assaulted multiple people during prayer services at the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens as a hate crime.
- In Denver, an anti-Muslim vigilante group started in Finland called the Soldiers of Odin have "patrolled" outside of various suburban mosques.
- Most recently, the mosque where Orlando shooter Omar Mateen sometimes worshipped burned to the ground.
The pattern CAIR identified is not new. Attacks against Muslims and Muslim places of worship in 2015 tripled after the killings in Paris and San Bernardino, a California State University analysis found. A report released earlier this year by CAIR and UC Berkeley's Center for Race and Justice found that the amount of anti-Muslim groups in America is increasing, and that new forms of harassment of Muslims—"Muslim-free business" and armed anti-Islam demonstrations—are raising "deep concerns."
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.