Report finds prejudice rising against US Muslims

Discrimination and hate crimes against Arab-Americans have dropped in recent years after a spike after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but such prejudice is still more common than in the 1980s and 1990s, according to a report by an advocacy group. The study gives Hollywood some credit for presenting a more balanced view of Arabs and Muslims in recent films. But it said prejudice is worse than ever in popular culture. It particularly faulted the news media for allowing political commentators to inflame fears that Muslims are terrorists. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee released the study Thursday, calling it the most comprehensive look at prejudice and racially motivated violence that Arab-Americans and Muslims faced in the United States between 2003 and 2007. Mary Rose Oakar, the group's president, said the level of prejudice became clear during this year's presidential campaign, when critics of President-elect Barack Obama used false rumors that he was a Muslim as a line of attack.