Technically, the far-right has always targeted Muslim Americans. Hate crimes have peaked after several historical events involving terrorism, not the least of which is 9/11. Although these crimes are unacceptable — we do understand them. Radical Muslims give the rest a bad name and an undeserved reputation. Regardless of how much we contribute to our country, it seems like we gain no ground.
After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, some extremism experts believe that hate crimes targeting Muslim Americans will rise again. According to Executive Director of Western States Center Eric Ward, this is especially true after the recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.
Ward said, “We are likely now to see a rise in targeting of Muslim Americans who are simply trying to do what the rest of us are trying to do in this moment: survive a global pandemic, live, love, work and worship free from fear and bigotry.”
He added, “I have seen individuals and these far-right leaders and figures reposition Islam as if it is a racial category rather than a religious belief. And this is quite concerning to me because it seems to mirror how anti-Semitism has taken root in the United States.”
Anyone victim to a hate crime or actively targeted by white supremacist groups should contact a personal injury lawyer for a consultation to determine if criminal charges or civil litigation is an appropriate response (https://www.socalinjurylawyers.com/). Legal help might not be the perfect solution to the problem, but it’s one of the few personal remedies available to Muslim Americans and other minorities.
Currently, civil rights groups are actively raising money for the Boulder victims and their families. National nonprofit organization Celebrate Mercy raised over $25,000 and does the same whenever there is a mass shooting.
When vandals struck a Jewish cemetery in 2017, Celebrate Mercy managed to scrounge together a whopping $100,000 for the victims. Member Tarek El-Massidi said, “We are tired of being grouped along with the crazies, they scare us just as much as any American. We need the administration to talk about the three million Muslim Americans who just want to pursue life, liberty, and happiness just like everyone else here in America.”
The Colorado Muslim Leadership Council is a group of Muslim American-dominated organizations in Colorado. In response to the Boulder shootings, it stated: “Our hearts are heavy as we stand with the survivors of violence. We will continue to remember and grieve for the innocent victims of this horrific and senseless crime.”
The council’s leadership said that the shooter deserved to be prosecuted to the “fullest extent of the law.”
Those interested in donating to victims should address the Colorado State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police or the Colorado Healing Fund. Other groups include the aforementioned Celebrate Mercy and the Community Foundation of Boulder County.