Nov 1, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden administration to create national plan to counter Islamophobia

President Biden speaking in Northfield, Minnesota, on Nov. 1, 2023.

President Biden speaking in Northfield, Minnesota, on Nov. 1, 2023. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration will develop the first U.S. national strategy to oppose rising Islamophobia in the country, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Since the war between Israel and Hamas began in early October, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim and antisemitic hate crimes have skyrocketed in major U.S. cities, including New York City and Los Angeles.

What they're saying: "For too long, Muslims in America, and those perceived to be Muslim, such as Arabs and Sikhs, have endured a disproportionate number of hate-fueled attacks and other discriminatory incidents," Jean-Pierre said in a statement Wednesday evening.

The big picture: Jean-Pierre did not give any specific details on the creation of the strategy, but said the effort will be led by the Domestic Policy Council and the National Security Council and that the White House would work with community leaders, advocates and members of Congress in drafting it.

Of note: In the announcement, Jean-Pierre noted the killing of Wadea Al-Fayoume, a 6-year-old Palestinian American who was stabbed to death outside Chicago last month.

  • Detectives determined that the Illinois man charged for stabbing Al-Fayoume and his mother, who was critically injured in the attack, specifically targeted the family because they're Muslim.
  • He pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of murder, attempted murder and a hate crimes.

Go deeper... Report: Hate crimes surged in most big cities in 2022

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