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Last Updated: Monday, 3 May, 2004, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
US Muslims 'face more harassment'
Many American Muslims say they feel marginalised
Muslims in the United States were subjected to a record number of alleged harassment attacks in 2003, a new report by a Muslim rights group says.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair) said it received 1,019 claims of physical and verbal abuse, up from 602 the previous year.

It said Muslims were harassed at work, in schools and in their communities.

Fears of terror attacks after 11 September 2001 and the Iraq conflict contributed to the increase, it said.

The Cair also blamed what it called Muslim-bashing in the US media and the misapplication of the country's anti-terrorism bill, known as the Patriot Act.


The Unpatriotic Acts report, to be presented later on Monday in Washington, said California saw 221 complaints - by far the largest number.

The report said 191 reported incidents of harassment and violence took place in New York, 69 in Virginia, and 57 in Texas.

They included a cross-burning near an Islamic school and stabbing of a woman for allegedly wearing an Islamic headscarf.

More than 130 Muslims also complained for being singled out for discriminatory application of the law by local and federal authorities, the report said.

However, the report said the jump in complaints also reflected an increase in the number of regional offices of the Washington-based group, allowing more cases to be recorded.

The Cair currently has more than 20 branches across the US.

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