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Group reports uptick in anti-Muslim discrimination complaints

A scene from the show All-American Muslim
A scene from the show All-American Muslim

One national civil rights group says it’s seen an uptick in discrimination complaints from Muslims—especially in the past month.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee says it’s received triple the number of complaints this December, compared with the same month last year.

The group suggests the recent uptick is related to the flap involving the TLC reality show All-American Muslim, which profiles five families in Dearborn.

The home improvement store Lowe’s recently pulled its ads from the show after pressure from a socially conservative Florida group.

ADC Michigan President Imad Hamad says that controversy, and some escalating rhetoric in the GOP Presidential campaign, made for a tense month. “The last month gave a push, in a negative way, for people to be victimized.”

Hamad says the Michigan ADC has received nearly 600 discrimination complaints this year, a number he calls “huge.”

“Name it, we’ve got it,” Hamad says, saying the allegations range from workplace discrimination to assault.

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, another civil rights group, says the number of complaints it receives has stayed steady in recent months.

But CAIR-Michigan director Dawud Walid says it’s dealt with a larger number of school bullying cases targeting Muslim students.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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