By Laura Seumas-Bohem and Michael WeissNew York, Feb. 25 (Reuters) — The United States is facing an Islamic “cultural backlash” in which people are criticizing religion in its “war on terror,” according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The report also cited a “growing number of bloggers who are being targeted as a result of their views on the Middle East and Muslim-Americans.”
The ACLU’s National Security Project said its findings, which it released on Friday, were based on interviews with more than 300 Muslim Americans and a survey of more than 1,200 bloggers in 30 countries.
The researchers interviewed more than 100 bloggers on behalf of the ACLU and published the report in a report called “Secularization: The Coming Civil War.”
The report was based on a survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center in February and March of this year.
The ACLU report says Muslim-American bloggers are facing a backlash.
It says: Many Muslim Americans have seen their blogs, forums and Facebook pages targeted because of their beliefs.
They have been targeted because their words have offended Muslim communities, and their comments and posts have been used to promote extremist views about Muslims and Muslims in general.
The findings underscore how Muslims are facing increasingly harsh criticism online and in their communities, said Adam Green, the senior staff attorney at the ACLU National Security project.
The rise in hate speech and threats has alarmed Muslims in particular. “
This is the first time we’ve seen a Muslim community as a whole facing this kind of discrimination and vilification online.”
The rise in hate speech and threats has alarmed Muslims in particular.
In the wake of the Paris attacks, more than 140 countries have enacted or are considering laws against hate speech.
The new report, which surveyed more than 200 bloggers in 20 countries, said Muslim- American bloggers were being targeted because they have criticized religion in the Middle Eastern conflict.
“These hateful posts and threats of violence have been spreading through the blogs and forums that I have created over the past few years,” wrote one blogger in the report.
“The fact that some of my Muslim followers are even making such hateful and anti-Muslim statements about me, the fact that my posts have generated hundreds of thousands of likes and shares and comments, and that some Muslim-owned businesses and publications have been threatened and threatened and intimidated and have been forced to shut down due to these hateful, inflammatory and threatening statements is truly a frightening and alarming picture of the state of affairs.”
In the past two years, the ACLU’s report said, the Islamic American Community Center in Miami has seen an influx of hate mail, threats and death threats from Muslim- Americans, many of whom feel threatened because they are Muslim.
“I can’t even describe the magnitude of the response I have received and the number of people who have contacted me over the last couple of years,” the blogger wrote in the letter.
“Even after I posted about the threats and harassment, the threats have not stopped.
I have had calls from people in the US and around the world to harass me, to make threats and to kill me.
These threats have escalated into people saying, ‘If you write about us, they will kill you.'”
In other cases, Muslim-America bloggers have faced online harassment and intimidation because of what they have posted.
One blogger in Miami, who identified himself only as M, wrote in an email: “You are now being targeted.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people threatening to kill my family or the people who support me.”
A Muslim blogger in Chicago, who did not want to be identified by name because of his family’s safety, said in an interview: “When I first started blogging, I wrote about what I thought was an Islamophobic topic.
I wrote things like, ‘I’m a Muslim, I don’t want you to think I’m racist.
You guys can read my post. “
A blogger in Florida who identified herself only as T wrote in a Facebook message: “I’m going to tell you why this has gotten so bad: It’s been a vicious cycle of intimidation, harassment and threats.
You guys can read my post.
I don´t want to give away my identity, but I have to tell the truth.
I’ve been threatened to kill, my home has been broken into, and I’ve even been physically assaulted.
It’s gotten so far that I feel compelled to say that I am a Muslim.
It is not a coincidence that these threats are coming from the same people who attacked me for daring to express my Muslim faith.
“So, I am here to tell everyone: you don’t have to live in fear.
It will stop.”
The study also cited one Muslim blogger, who said he was a victim of a