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I Islamophobia

Hate crimes against Muslims in Florida up 500%

By Kristen Chapman, For CBS 12, On 06 December 2016, Read Original
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Hate crimes against Muslims have increased 500% in the state of Florida, and many of those incidents have happened right here in South Florida.

This spike in hate crimes in effecting the whole community, and those who attend local mosques believe it may only get worse.

So as followers of Allah file into the mosque, the grim reminders of hatred spreading throughout Florida and the nation are left at the door. Dr. Bassem Alhalabi explained, "We muslims believe nothing's going to happen unless it's written for you. So that gives you a comfort".

Florida leads the nation in crimes against Muslims. Since December 2015, 13 hate crimes in South Florida have rocked communities from Miami to Tampa. A trend that practicing Muslim Annie Hyatt says, "People are very very fearful, especially in our community."

In September, mosque in Fort Pierce set on fire. In November, a mosque in Boynton Beach spray painted with obscenities. Then a couple weeks ago, threatening letters sent to a mosque in Miami Gardens.

However, this also happens on a smaller scale. Hyatt explained the comments made to her when she stopped by the bank after work. She shared, "I was just normal, depositing my check. And the person standing in line right next to me was very open about, 'Well now these people can go back home."

Not to mention the nasty calls answered at the mosque in Boca Raton. Hyatt telling us, "The other day we received phone calls asking us you know who pays us, why are we working here, who even allows us to come to states."

Though many believe the hate will only worsen, local Muslims remain hopeful. Alhalabi hopes this experience will bring groups together, "The masses, the silent majority, please speak up. Stand up speak up respect your neighbors and love everyone." Hyatt also believing, "It can be a good thing if we open up our dialogue and address these issues."

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