NEW YORK – A severed pig’s head was left outside a mosque in Philadelphia. An Islamic center in Florida was defaced. A Sikh temple in California was vandalized by someone who mistook it for a mosque and left graffiti that included a profane reference to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Advocacy groups believe there has been a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across the U.S. in recent weeks that can be linked to last week’s mass shooting in California and the inflammatory rhetoric of Donald Trump and other Republican presidential candidates. Ibrahim Hooper, lead spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, “I have never seen such fear and apprehension in the Muslim community, even after 9/11.”
The Anti-Defamation League said it has tracked more than three dozen incidents since the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris that left 130 dead. “We’re talking at least three dozen that we’re aware of and I’m sure there are many more incidents that haven’t been reported,” said Oren Segal, the director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism.