On Sunday the Houston office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent out a press release saying it was holding a news conference calling for political and religious leaders in Texas to condemn Islamophobia. We at blogHOUSTON couldn’t wait to see if the Chronicle would send a reporter and, if so, to read the story.
We weren’t disappointed. The Chronicle answered the call and on Tuesday Melanie Markley wrote a press-release talking-points story:
Last week’s attempted firebombing of an Islamic center in El Paso represents the latest in a renewed rash of hate crimes against Muslims in Texas, the director of Houston’s Council on American-Islamic Relations said Monday.
Iesa Galloway, executive director of CAIR in Houston, called on political and religious leaders Monday to condemn the attack in El Paso, calling it an act of “Islamophobia,” a term he said was coined by his organization.
“This,” said Galloway, “is the latest in a trend of attacks that have been happening across Texas.”
Galloway said other recent acts include a dry-ice bomb that exploded in a mailbox at a Houston-area Islamic center, a series of arsons in San Antonio that targeted Muslim-owned businesses and graffiti and other hateful incidents in McAllen.
Galloway said he believes that hate crimes against Muslims have spiked during the past six months.
If Galloway provided statistics to back up what he believes, the Chronicle reporter didn’t pass them on in the story. Next to the story online is a statistics box that belies Galloway’s assertion that Muslim hate crimes are on the rise. The statistics, from the Texas Department of Public Safety, list hate crimes reported against Muslims in Texas:
Incidence of hate crimes reported against Muslims in Texas, by year: