Anti-Muslim Violence & the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

Published on 02 May 2016

anti muslim hate speech in the run up to the 2016 elections

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Title Text: Anti-Muslim Violence & 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections

Text Below Title: Amid a presidential election campaign frought with anti-Muslim rhetoric. American Muslims were met with verbal threats, physical assaults, and worse. During the end of 2015, after Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States, Muslims said the climate of Islamophobia in America was the worst it had been since September 11, 2001. Here, we break down the anti-Muslim attacks that occurred from the beginning of the campaign, when Ted Cruz announced his candidacy, through the primary season of 2016.


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Text below a headshot of Ben Carson reads: Ben Carson. “I would not advocated that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

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Text below a headshot of Donald Trump reads: Donald Trump. “Islam hates us.”

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Text below a headshot of Ted Cruz reads: Ted Cruz. “Patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods…”


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Row 2 Text: 180 TOTAL Anti-Muslim ATTACKS. 12 murders, 34 physical attacks. 56 incidents of vandalism & property destruction including at mosques & homes. 49 verbal assaults & threats. 49 shootings & bombings. There were also 9 arsons, 5 armed demonstrations outside mosques, 4 cases of incitement, and 3 other incidents targeting Muslims. We tracked incidents occurring between March 23, 2015 through March 31, 2016 in the United States.


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Image: a cartoon image of two people, one of whom wears a hijab to show that the person is visibly Muslim. To the left of the two people is a text bubble with non-character symbols to represent expletives.

Text: Who is Affected? American Muslim men and women experienced verbal assaults and threats at comparable rates. Men were twice as likely to be victims of physical assaults.

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Image: A pie chart depicting the breakdown of different types of anti-Muslim attacks

Text: The Breakdown. Vandalisms and property damage: 31.11%. Verbal assaults/threats: 27.22%. Physical attacks: 18.89%. Murders: 6.67%. Arsons: 5%. Shootings & bombings: 4.44%. Incitement: 2.22%. Armed mosque demonstrations: 2.78%.


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Text: During this period, men were 11x more likely to be murdered than women.


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Text: When Attacks Occurred. 53 attacks occurred in December when Trump called for a “Muslim ban” after the mass shooting in San Bernardino. Spotlight on December: one in three anti-Muslim attacks during the election season took place in December with at least one incident occurring EVERY DAY from 12/1 to 12/20. In this month alone, there were 17 incidents at mosques, and 5 targeting homes.


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Text: Tragedy Abroad. Prejudiced Proposals at home.

September 2015: Refugee crisis. Temporary front-runner Ben Carson says U.S. shouldn’t have a Muslim president.

February 2016: Brussels Attack. Ted Cruz says that police should “patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods.”


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Text: This infographic is part of the Bridge Initiative Special Report “When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Read the full report at