Biden Administration Acts to Combat Islamophobia: Fact Sheet

The White House

As Muslims in America and around the world commemorate Eid-al-Adha this year, the holiday arrives at a time of deep pain for communities at home and abroad. In addition to the devastating humanitarian impacts of the ongoing fighting in Gaza, there has been a rise in harassment, bigotry and horrifying violence towards Muslim, Arab and Palestinian Americans.

To address discrimination and violence, last November the Biden-Harris Administration announced the development of the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Islamophobia and Related Forms of Bias and Discrimination, including hate against Arab, Sikh and South Asian Americans ("the Strategy"). Building on work that had been underway since 2021, departments and agencies across the government are in close communication with communities regarding their concerns and recommendations on societal and institutional discrimination as we continue to develop the Strategy. Over the past year, the Administration has taken steps to support these communities, including the following actions:

  • On March 15, 2024, President Biden became the first U.S. President to recognize the International Day to Combat Islamophobia. In his statement, President Biden recognized the violence and hate that Muslims worldwide too often face because of their religious beliefs-and the ugly resurgence of Islamophobia in the wake of the devastating war in Gaza. He rededicated his Administration to help build a world where people of all faiths and all backgrounds are free to live without fear of persecution. To mark this day, the Department of Education's (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Dear Colleague Letter reminding schools of their legal obligation under Title VI to address discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color or national origin, including discrimination against students who are or are perceived to be Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian, Hindu or Palestinian based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland also issued a statement recommitting the Justice Department (DOJ) to protecting Muslim Americans from discrimination and hate-fueled violence, and DOJ published resources on hate crimes, combating religious discrimination, combating national origin discrimination and religious land use protections.   
  • Through the Fiscal Year 2024 National Security Supplemental, President Biden secured an additional $400 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which funds security improvements and training to nonprofits and houses of worship, including mosques. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and DOJ published a resource guide
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