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Study: Muslim-Americans Being Treated Better, But Much Discrimination Remains

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Faizan Syed, executive director Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)  (KMOX/Brett Blume)

Faizan Syed, executive director Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOX) - A report released Thursday morning claims that while Muslim-Americans are generally being treated better in the U.S., they still face significant hurdles both socially and politically.

“We have seen a small, but highly welcome, decline in Islamophobia within the United States,” said Faizan Syed, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “We graph Islamophobia on a ten-point scale: we have seen a drop to 5.9 from 6.4 since 2010.”

That’s not to say there isn’t a long way to go toward an end to someday bringing an end to discrimination, Syed added.

He claimed that the “inner core” of a U.S.-based Islamophobia network was funded to the tune of nearly $120 million between 2008 and 2011.

“The primary purpose of these institutions and individuals is to demonize and attack Islam and Muslims within the United States,” according to Syed, who went on to say that another problem is the depiction of Muslims in the media. “(The TV show) ’24’ is a good example, ‘Homeland’ is a good example…where there’s this concept that there are terrorists in the United States and there’s these law enforcement agencies that are literally going to war with them. Terrorism in the United States – at least Muslim terrorism – is very limited.”

The 158-page report entitled “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States 2011-2012″ also purports that 78 bills or amendments designed to vilify Islamic religious practices were introduced in the legislatures of 29 states, including Missouri, over the past two years.

“This report shows there are individuals and groups that have built institutions to target Islam and Muslims and manufacture fear,” Syed explained. “This has led to not only verbal attacks but bullying, physical assaults on individuals or institutions and houses of worship, and in extreme cases murder in the United States and abroad.”

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