The days during and immediately following Ramadan this year—which began July 20 and ended at sundown on August 18—saw one of the worst spikes in anti-Muslim incidents in more than a decade. The incidents were widespread and frequently violent, and although some of the perpetrators have been apprehended and charged, most have not been caught. Many cases are still under investigation.
Religious freedom is one of our most sacred principles, and it includes the right to worship freely and according to one’s conscience. Yet since the September 11 terrorist attacks more than 11 years ago, Muslim Americans and their houses of worship have been subject to threats, vandalism, violence, and even arson. The most recent rise in violent targeted crimes against Muslim Americans represents a threat to all Americans and violates core principles on which our nation was founded: religious freedom and tolerance.