Since war in Gaza, threats and harassment reports surge against Muslims, CAIR says

As pro-Palestinian protests continue calling for a ceasefire in Gaza - so, too, do hate crimes and harassment of Muslims here in Michigan and across the country.

"Within three months of the initial siege on Gaza, we saw in our office a 350% increase in comparison to the same time period the previous two years," said Dawud Walid.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations released its annual Civil Rights Report - documenting nationally more than 8,000 complaints - the most in the 30-year history of the civil liberties organization.

It includes almost 500 complaints in Michigan alone, the most since the war between Israel and Hamas started in October.

CAIR Michigan Executive Director Dawud Walid pointed to the arrest of a Farmington Hills man for online threats to "hunt Palestinians."

"He stated he wanted to kill all Palestinians in the City of Dearborn and then he was arrested on terrorist threats," Walid said.

CAIR Michigan was also the victim of vile and violent threats.

In one example, a phone message saying, "You're an animal, you're violent, you are killers, you are rapists, we're going to kill you (expletives)."

"Less than a month ago, a Jewish American man in Florida was charged with federal crimes for threatening to kill us - the staff of the Michigan Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations," said Walid.

Walid also took issue with recent remarks from Michigan Congressman Tim Walberg.

Walberg said in a town hall recorded on video: "We shouldn't be spending a dime on humanitarian aid - it should be like Nagasaki and Hiroshima - get it over quick."

"He basically stated that Gaza should be dealt with like Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Walid said. "In essence, that Gaza should be nuked and this would end the situation in Gaza."

CAIR Michigan staff said the hateful rhetoric has been seen in many locations and situations.

"We had a social worker just a few months ago who was posting on her public Facebook account that all Palestinians deserve to die," said Nour Ali, director of Safe Spaces.

"There were a lot of issues not only with colleges and universities but K through 12 schools," said attorney Amy Doukoure.

CAIR is calling on government officials to scale back warmongering rhetoric to help stop the hate speech and discrimination - and calling on the Biden administration - to stop the war.

"The Biden administration needs to demand and enforce an immediate ceasefire in Gaza," Walid said.

For more information, go to the CAIR website HERE.