American mosques — and American Muslims — are being targeted for hate like never before

On Saturday an ‘‘improvised explosive device’’ was detonated in a Minneapolis-area mosque in what Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton denounced as a ‘‘dastardly, cowardly’’ hate crime.
It’s just the latest case in an ever-quickening escalation of anti-Islamic incidents at mosques, according to data compiled by the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.
According to CAIR’s figures, in the first half of 2017 there were 85 such incidents. That’s more than the total number of incidents in any year between 2009 and 2015. And while 2016’s number’s aren’t fully compiled yet, the six-month tally for 2017 is already greater than the number of incidents in the first nine months of last year.
The incidents tracked by CAIR this year include 24 cases of property damage and vandalism like the one at the Minnesota mosque. They also include 30 cases of intimidation against mosques or the people who worship in them, and four separate instances of alleged anti-Muslim bias in cases where a proposal to build a mosque was rejected by local authorities.
More broadly, CAIR has found that instances of anti-Muslim bias, whether connected to a mosque or not, are up sharply since President Trump announced his candidacy in June of 2015. In 2014, for instance, CAIR documented 1,341 cases of anti-Muslim bias and 38 anti-Muslim hate crimes. By 2016, those numbers had ballooned to 2,213 and 260, respectively.
CAIR’s figures comport with available FBI hate crime data, which showed a surge in anti-Muslim crimes in 2015 (2016 data is not yet available).
‘‘When Donald Trump became President of the United States on January 20, 2017, he brought an unprecedented record of conditioning audiences to fear Muslims,’’ CAIR wrote in a report earlier this year.
Trump had a long record of making inflammatory statements about Muslims and Islam. Early in his campaign he floated the ideas of closing mosques and creating a national database of Muslims. He called for ‘‘a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said that ‘‘Islam’’ harbors ‘‘a tremendous hatred’’ for the United States, and accused Muslims of wanting ‘‘Sharia law.’’
Muslims aren’t the only group facing heightened discrimination in the Trump era. Jews remain the religious group most likely targeted for hate crimes.
After years of decline, anti-Jewish crimes increased by nearly 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to the FBI.