The Maryland Council on American-Islamic Relations is taking action to help protect Muslim, Arab and Palestinian Americans.
The action comes following a surge in reports of violence and hate crimes since the war on Gaza began, including the recent shooting in Burlington, Vermont, that left three Palestinian students injured.
Zainab Chaudry, director of the Maryland Council on American-Islamic Relations said, “Of the many dozens of complaints that my office in Maryland has received over the last several weeks has included complaints of students on college campuses who have been threatened, who have been verbally and physically assaulted, who have been threatened to be doxed, who have faced retaliation, who have faced censorship.”
Chaudry, who has been following the number of reports, believes the number of actual incidents is much higher, saying that almost 80% of attacks on Muslim Americans are kept quiet because of a fear of reporting and belief that incidents will not be investigated.
To address fear and anxiety among Muslim communities, Chaudry said that CAIR is offering self-defense workshops and bystander intervention training beginning this weekend.
CAIR hopes to offer the training at as many mosques, colleges and high schools as necessary to help students feel secure and empowered to stand up for themselves, Chaudry added.
It is worth mentioning that since the Gaza war began, there has been an unprecedented surge in incidents of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias reported across the United States, United Kingdom and other European countries according to reports.