There has been an increase of more than 1,000% in the number of alleged Islamophobia incidents involving the United States Customs and Borders Protection officials since Donald Trump took over as the president in January, according to a report released by activist group Council on American-Islamic Relations. Cases where Customs and Border Protection officials were reported to have profiled Muslims had accounted for 23% of its cases in the first three months of 2017, the report said.
“This represents a 1,035% increase in CBP bias cases reported so far this year over the same period in 2016,” the report added. In 2016, the group had recorded only 17 such cases during the said period. “The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency witnessed initial efforts to translate his anti-Islam campaign rhetoric into official U.S. policy,” CAIR said.
Of the 193 CBP cases recorded between January 2017 and March 2017, as many as 181 were reported after January 27 – when the Trump administration had introduced a travel ban restricting the entry of refugees into the country from seven Muslim-majority countries. This number is higer than the combined total of CBP profiling incidents CAIR had documented in the last three years – 136.
Director of Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, CAIR, Corey Saylor told The Independent that the incidents were reported to the group and that they then examined them. “We look at these very carefully. Around 50%, we reject,” Saylor said, adding that the executive orders banning migrants were behind the rise in number of such incidents.
After his first ban was stayed, the US president then signed another executive order on March 6 imposing a 90-day ban on the entry of people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The order was blocked by a federal judge in Hawaii hours before it was due to come into effect on March 16.
The earlier move had wreaked havoc on immigrant families, especially those with valid visas. Protests were launched across the country, including at airports, against the travel ban. His executive order had been criticised by several quarters, including politicians, activists, immigration advocates and even United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.