Tue May 9, 2017 8:20AM
Interfaith religious leaders join together in a show of support for the Muslim community outside the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, February 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Interfaith religious leaders join together in a show of support for the Muslim community outside the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, February 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the United States saw a dramatic rise last year, according to a prominent Muslim advocacy group.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a report released on Tuesday that the number of such incidents increased 57 percent in 2016.

A total of 2,213 anti-Muslim incidents were recorded across the country, up from 1,409 in 2015. There was also a 44 percent rise in hate crimes in the same period. Incidents had increased 5 percent in 2015 from the year before.

These included a wide range of bias incidents from repeated cases of arson attacks on mosques to street assaults and employment discrimination.

The council also reported an uptick in unwarranted contacts against Muslims by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

While CAIR had reported a rise in anti-Muslim incidents prior to Donald Trump's stunning rise in last year's presidential election, it said the acceleration was due in part to Trump's rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants.  

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Twitter image of a suspected arson fire at Victoria Islamic Center in Texas on January 28, 2017.

CAIR officials decided last year to compile quarterly reports on the issue after noticing a rise in complaints beginning in 2014, following the rise of the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group in the Middle East.

"There was this widespread sense that we were going right back to how it was after 9/11," said Corey Saylor, director of the CAIR department on monitoring and combating Islamophobia. "We wanted to be able to put something factual out there.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to impose a “complete and total shutdown” on Muslims entering the US, framing it as an effort to prevent attacks in the country.

The president’s executive orders intended at putting a temporary travel ban on citizens from several Muslim countries have been blocked by challenges in courts.