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Group Claims Hate Crimes Against Minorities On The Rise

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A non-profit group for South Asian Americans said in a report that South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities are the target of increasing levels of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric in the United States.

There were record number of attacks on these communities since the election of President Donald Trump, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) said in a report released Thursday.

SAALT says it documented 302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric on minority communities, most of which were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. This is a more than 45 percent increase from the year leading up to the 2016 election cycle, levels not seen since the year after September 11.

The report, "Communities on Fire," draws a direct line between the Trump administration's anti-Muslim agenda and increasing attacks. One in five perpetrators invoked President Trump's name, his administration's policies, or his campaign slogans during attacks, it claims.

The report notes that women who wear hijab or head scarves are particularly vulnerable, accounting for 63 percent of the documented hate incidents targeting women.

"Deadly shootings, torched mosques, vandalized homes and businesses, and young people harassed at school have animated an acutely violent post-election year," said Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT. She called on the government to "break eye contact with white supremacy if our nation is to live up to its highest ideals of religious freedom".

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