Press Release

ADL Voices Concern About Escalation in Attacks and Rhetoric Against Muslim Americans Following Shootings in Paris

New York, NY, November 20, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today voiced serious concern at an escalation of hostility against Muslims living in the United States in the wake of the November 13 terror attacks in France. ADL’s Center on Extremism, which monitors hate crimes and extremist rhetoric and activity, has in recent days noted an increased atmosphere of fear-mongering – promoted in part by political figures – as well as a series of threats, attacks, hate crimes and other incidents directed against the American Muslim community.

“There has been a significant escalation in hostile incidents toward Muslims in the United States since the Paris shootings, and that is cause for serious concern,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.  “We are deeply dismayed and alarmed by the rash of hate crimes, hate incidents and hateful rhetoric that we have seen across the country in recent days.”

There have been at least a dozen serious incidents threatening Muslims in this country, including hateful calls to a Mosque in St. Petersburg, Florida, threats tweeted against Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, and shots fired at a Muslim family’s home in Orlando, Florida. Such anti-Muslim threats and attacks are part of a larger culture of anti-Muslim hate that is also flourishing online.

“We have witnessed attacks on Islamic facilities in several states and from some political leaders we have heard statements brimming with xenophobia and appeals to fear,” said Mr. Nathan and Mr. Greenblatt.  “Unfortunately, incidents targeting the Muslim community tend to spike following highly publicized terrorist attacks, as we witnessed after 9/11.  It is another reminder that we must do more to speak out against, and work to prevent and educate against, the scapegoating of minorities in America.”

ADL’s 27 regional offices across the U.S. have responded and spoken out against numerous apparent attacks targeting Muslims, including:

  • Nov. 13: A man was arrested after leaving several threatening voicemails for the Islamic Center of Pinellas County in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Nov. 14: A Muslim student at the University of Connecticut found the words “killed Paris” written under his dorm room name-tag.
  • Nov. 14: Shots were reportedly fired at a Muslim family’s house in Florida while they were at an event painting pictures of peace for the victims of the Paris attacks.
  • Nov. 15: Vandals targeted the Islamic Center of Pflugerville in Austin, Texas, smearing the center with feces and pages torn from the Qur’an.
  • Nov. 15: Shots were fired at the Baitul Aman mosque in Meriden, Connecticut hours after the Paris attacks.
  • Nov. 16: A symbol of the Eiffel Tower peace sign was spray painted on the outside wall of a mosque in Omaha.
  • Nov. 16: Protestors with loudspeakers and placards with phrases like “Jesus saves from Hell” shouted obscenities at Muslims making their way into the Rizwan Mosque in Portland, Oregon.