A man near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July 2016 holds a pack of chewing gum called '"Islamophobin." The packaging attempts to bring attention to the issue of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States. (CNS photo/Justin Lane, EPA)
(RNS) — It may be a law of nature: President Trump tweets something about Islam. Anti-Muslim hate crimes follow.
That’s according to a working paper by University of Warwick researchers Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz.
Their conclusions correspond with anecdotal reports collected by Muslim civil rights and advocacy groups, too.
“Whether it’s a tweet or whether it’s in a policy (Trump is) introducing, or if it’s in a policy someone in his administration is introducing, I think it all comes together to create this kind of environment where targeting Muslims is acceptable or has become acceptable,” said Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at Muslim Advocates.
The data showed a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since the start of Trump’s presidential campaign, concentrated in counties with high Twitter usage. It also showed a correlation between the number of Trump’s tweets in a given week that used keywords related to Islam and the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes that followed.
Pope Francis brought consolation and hope to Catholics and countless people of other religions in Myanmar when he celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica this Sunday morning for peace in their troubled homeland, which was robbed of democracy by a military coup on Feb. 1.
Pope Francis today expressed his “very great concern” at the armed clashes in Gaza and Israel and made an urgent, passionate appeal “to those with the responsibility” to bring a ceasefire and “to walk the path of peace.”