The Biden administration faced backlash on Wednesday after revealing its intention to develop the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Address Islamophobia, given the growing instances of antisemitism.
The White House’s focus on countering Islamophobia comes just one day after the arrest of a 21-year-old individual who self-identified as a “Hamas fighter” in New York. This individual is alleged to have made threats against Jews at Cornell University, including threats of violence and sexual assault.
Additionally, FBI Director Christopher Wray informed senators that antisemitism in the United States is reaching unprecedented levels, citing the increase following the October 7th attack on Israel by Hamas.
“For years, Muslims in America and those perceived to be Muslim have endured a disproportionate number of hate fueled attacks. As a result of the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, we have seen an uptick in anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents across America,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in an X post.
Harris indicated that the plan – still in the works – will aim “to protect Muslims and those perceived to be Muslim from hate, bigotry and violence. And to address the concern that some government policies may discriminate against Muslims.”
The White House initiative also coincides with a recent poll commissioned by the Arab American Institute, which revealed a sharp decline in President Biden’s support among Arab-Americans to just 17% following his endorsement of Israel’s actions against Hamas. In contrast, 40% of Arab-American respondents expressed a preference for former President Donald Trump.
Furthermore, Canadian professor Gad Saad, who cited the statistics presented by Director Wray to the senators on Tuesday, was one of the many individuals who turned to social media to express their disappointment with the Biden administration’s announcement regarding anti-Islamophobia measures.
On Monday, the Biden administration revealed a set of measures aimed at addressing the increasing incidents of antisemitism on college campuses, which have been linked to a series of anti-Israel protests.
As part of this strategy, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are collaborating with campus and local law enforcement to monitor hate-related language on the internet and offer federal support to educational institutions. Additionally, the Education Department will conduct online seminars to guide individuals on the process of filing reports.