Muslim community reacts to increase in number of hate crimes

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – According to FBI statistics, the number of hate crimes against Muslims in America for 2015 was the highest since 9/11. Many predict numbers from this year won’t be lower.

“To feel unaccepted just because you happen to be an immigrant or a Muslim or a certain minority- it’s a scary thing,” Imam Hamzah Sharif said.

“The fire of racism, the fire of hatred is burning,” J. Tamir Rasheed said. Rasheed is the president of the Islamic Center of Fort Wayne.

The overall number increased almost seven percent. Muslim hate crimes increased 67 percent. But Muslims at the Islamic Center of Fort Wayne think Fort Wayne isn’t in a bad place. In fact, Hamzah says this is one of the best cities to be.

“We feel accepted here. We don’t feel that we are in fear or anything as we have heard from different Muslims in different places,” he said.

Rasheed described hated as a disease of the heart, stemming deeper than politics.

“It cannot be alleviated or eradicated by law through any type of legislation,” Rasheed said.

Yet, faith aside, they suggest research.

“Doing good, prayer, charity and respecting your fellow man and woman also,” Qasim Abdullah said.

“I am not only proud i feel blessed to be a Muslim,” Rasheed said.

“We are here in America this country is the most diverse country in the world. God bless America, Hamzah said.