CAIR-NJ Report Shows Highest Number of Bias Complaints, 103 Percent Increase from Previous Year

(NEWARK, NJ, 04/30/2024) – The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, released its 2024 report, which reveals the highest number of bias complaints it has ever received in a calendar year. Altogether, the data shows a 103 percent increase in incident reports from the year prior, 2022.

SEE: Resilience Amidst Adversity: 2024 Annual Impact & Data Report

Titled “Resilience Amid Adversity,” CAIR-NJ’s annual report documented 309 complaints spanning different areas over the course of 2023. More than half of these incidents were reported to CAIR-NJ in October through December. Though the number of reports was already outpacing the prior year’s — 2022 — and on track to surpass it, the last three months of 2023 paved the way for a 100% increase year-to-year.

The report breaks down the complaints CAIR-NJ received into different categories such as employment discrimination, hate crimes and incidents, and school bullying. The data shows that Muslim women may be more likely to experience anti-Muslim bigotry in the workplace and in public. On the other hand, Muslim men are more likely to be approached by the FBI and made up all of CAIR-NJ’s watchlist complaints. A plurality of all incidents occurred at educational institutions.

The highest number of complaints came out of Bergen County, where several freedom of speech violations took place, agent provocateurs are prevalent at demonstrations and elected officials seem to fan the fires of anti-Muslim hate more.

Despite the staggering numbers before us, Muslims remain undeterred and unafraid,” CAIR-NJ Executive Director Selaedin Maksut said. “We see Muslim students and employees exercising their right to free speech even more unabashedly now, whether that’s in their workplace, at school, or on their college campuses. Muslims will continue to travel even if they are subject to extra security screenings. Muslim women will continue to wear their hijabs even if they are harassed for it.

Even when our community severely underreports anti-Muslim hate crimes and incidents, the data still shows a surge in anti-Muslim bigotry and hate surpassing the wave we saw with President Trump’s Muslim Ban,” CAIR-NJ Operations Manager Dyaa Terpstra, the primary author of the report, said. “This is largely due to public and elected officials’ imbalanced, disingenuous, and biased narratives about Israel’s war on Gaza. The data shows a worrying erosion of Americans’ civil rights in New Jersey, with children being bullied and experiencing hatred in their schools and adults being fired from their jobs, being subject to frivolous investigations at work and school, and being removed from their academic placements simply for speaking out against Israel’s genocidal war on Palestine.

Nationally, CAIR observed an unprecedented number of complaints in its 30-year history, with half of them from October through December. Altogether, this showed a 56 percent jump from the prior year.

SEE: 2024 Civil Rights Report: Fatal: The Resurgence of Anti-Muslim Hate 

CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ Operations Manager Dyaa Terpstra, 908-760-0129, dterpstra@cair.com

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