While the US was founded on principles of freedom and justice for all, the nation has a long history of bigoted and discriminatory actions towards minorities. A 65-page report by CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations), details individuals, associations and acts of bigotry against Muslims and Islam. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: In the middle of a Minnesota winter, Muslim schoolchildren are routinely left to freeze on the roadside by a bus driver. When the pupils do make it to school, their teacher hands out an air freshener, telling the class to spray as the Muslim children walk in.

In Arizona, two men are taken off a US Airways flight and questioned after a passenger hears them speaking a foreign language.

And in Michigan, a Nigerian man is removed from a plane when other passengers say he spent too much time in the plane's toilet. He is simply ill.

Everyday incidents

These are just everyday incidents of anti-Muslim actions detailed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a major study on Islamophobia in the United States released last night in Washington. Gulf News obtained an advance copy of the report.

The study says that Islamophobia has actually increased since the election of President Barack Obama, with right-wing Republicans feeding on anti-Muslim sentiments and fears over Sharia law.

American values

According to the report, some 45 per cent of respondents said they believe Islam is contrary to American values.

A Muslim police officer said: "On 9/11, I responded to Ground Zero with some of my colleagues and as we were being driven to the site, we saw many people lined up on both sides of the road with signs cheering and thanking us. ... Now it is 2010 and I dare not go anywhere near Ground Zero with the fear of being attacked because I am a Muslim."