Maureen Costello
Coshandra Dillard

Statistics of anti-Muslim hate and bias incidents: 1 out of 32 news reports, 1 out of 18 educator reports, least likely to result in disciplinary action

Anti-Muslim incidents numbered the fewest among the five categories reported by educators (6 percent) and those reported in the news. Altogether, we identified more than 200 anti-Muslim hate and bias incidents. The vast majority of these—almost 88 percent—came from educators, not news reports. Teachers reported hearing Muslim students—or those perceived as Muslim—called names such as “terrorist,” “bomber,” “Osama” or “ISIS.” One educator told us of classmates pressuring a student to translate the phrase “Death of America” into Arabic. Another told us of a student who complained that a poster illustrating a young woman in a hijab in front of an American flag was “offensive to him.”

These incidents weren’t limited to students. An educator in Wisconsin told us about families going to the school board to protest an eighth-grade English Language Arts unit based on the book I Am Malala. A teacher in Illinois told us that parents contacted school leaders after seeing a Muslim parent take pictures outside the school. Some of them demanded that the parent be investigated. 

Anti-Muslim incidents reported by educators were far less likely than average to make news, and educators reported that they’re also less likely to result in disciplinary action. While school leaders responded to anti-Muslim hate at about the average rate, only about a third of the incidents resulted in disciplinary action. Anti-Muslim hate was also the least likely to prompt communication with parents or public support of the targeted group.


"You’re a terrorist. 
I will kill you."

—Written on notes left in the 
cubby of a 10-year-old Muslim girl
 (media report, Massachusetts)

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