Anti-Muslim sentiment increased U.S. hate groups in 2016

Anti-Muslim sentiment increased U.S. hate groups in 2016

(UPI) — The Southern Poverty Law Center said the number of hate groups in the United States increased in 2016 due to a nearly 200 percent rise in anti-Muslim organizations.

In the SPLC’s The Year in Hate and Extremism report, the Montgomery, Ala.,-based non-profit reported there were 917 active hate groups in the United States in 2016, compared to 892 in 2015 — a nearly 3 percent increase.

The SPLC on Wednesday said there is one prime reason for the rise in active hate groups: Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign and victory.

“Trump’s run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country,” the SPLC said in a statement.

The SPLC in 2011 reported 1,108 active hate groups, the highest the organization recorded in more than 30 years. In 2014, active hate groups in the United States fell to an 11-year low of 784.

Anti-Muslim hate groups increased from 34 in 2015 to 101 in 2016.

“A surge in right-wing populism, stemming from the long-unfolding effects of globalization and the movements of capital and labor that it spawned, brought a man many considered to be a racist, misogynist and xenophobe into the most powerful political office in the world,” the SPLC said. “Donald Trump’s election as president mirrored similar currents in Europe, where globalization energized an array of extreme-right political movements and the United Kingdom’s decision to quit the European Union.”

There were 193 black separatist groups, 130 Ku Klux Klan groups, 101 anti-Muslim groups, 100 white nationalist groups, 100 general hate groups and 99 Neo-Nazi groups, the SPLC reported.

There were also 78 racist skinhead groups, 52 anti-LGBT groups, 43 Neo-Confederate groups and 21 Christian identity groups.

“One thing seems certain. The radical right is feeling its oats today in a way that few Americans can remember,” the SPLC said. “There are very large numbers of Americans who agree with its views, as sanitized under the deceptive Alt-Right label, although many of them may be less visible than before because they are not affiliated with actual groups. Whether or not the movement grows in coming years, it seems indisputable that its views have a better chance to actually affect policy now than in decades.”