executive summary

The data compiled for this report was collected by the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

In 2010, CAIR-LA received 403 complaints from members of the American Muslim community. The number of complaints was 340 in 2011, and 338 in 2012. Accordingly, 1,081 civil rights complaints were taken in by the CAIR-LA office between 2010 and 2012, and of those 114 fell out of the scope of CAIR-LA’s work and were categorized as “General” complaints.

Los Angeles Area Muslims reported incidents in which they were singled out for scrutiny by law enforcement agencies, perceived discrimination from co-workers and supervisors on the job, harassed verbally or in a few instances, assaulted physically, and subjected to intensive searches and delay while traveling. Individuals also reported difficulties in obtaining immigrant visas for family members and delays in adjustment of immigration status. Incidents took place in various locations, including airports, the workplace, schools and private businesses.

Law enforcement complaints, including voluntary questioning by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and community members concerned about the possibility of law enforcement surveillance, made up the bulk of CAIR-LA’s complaints in all three years. They numbered 89 cases, or 22% of all cases in 2010; 71 cases and 21% of all cases in 2011; and in 2012, 70 cases were reported at 21% of all cases received that year.

The next most frequent type of complaint received involved employment discrimination complaints, either involving religious accommodation issues in the workplace, hostile working environment or a negative job action after registering a complaint of discrimination. Employment cases accounted for 57 or 14% of calls received in 2010. They consisted of 64 cases and 19% of all cases received in 2011. In 2012, employment cases accounted for 55 cases at 16% of total reports received.

In 2010, the third most frequent category of cases involved hate mail and hate phone calls amounted to 40 cases and 10% of the calls received. In 2011 and 2012, immigration cases became the third most frequent category. In 2011, immigration cases accounted for 30 cases, 9% of the total reported, and in 2012 they accounted for 23 cases at 9% of the total cases received.

The remainder of the calls received involved complaints about family disputes, school bullying and accommodation, higher education, criminal defense, public accommodation, prison, and housing/land use issues.

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