What's it like to be Muslim in America?

Armed protesters demonstrate outside Texas mosque
Armed protesters from the so-called Bureau of American-Islamic Relations (BAIR), take part in a demonstration in front of a mosque last week in Richardson, Texas. About two dozen members of the group protested in front of the Islamic Association of North Texas mosque, as counter-protesters demonstrated across the street.
John Moore | Getty Images

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks and the mass shooting in San Bernadino, anti-Islamic sentiments are on the rise in the U.S.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the number of reported incidents targeting American Muslims or Islamic institutions has reached highs not seen since after the 9/11 attacks.

Moustafa Bayoumi, the author of "How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America," joined Ani Zonneveld, founder and president of Muslims for Progressive Values, and MPR News host Bob Collins to discuss what it's like to be Muslim in America today.

For many Muslims, anxiety is high, Bayoumi said. The February killing of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, N.C. sent a shockwave through the community, Bayoumi said, and "now I feel like we have that same kind of anxiety, but ramped up."

Bayoumi said the people most at risk are the people who are "very identifiably Muslim in their dress."

Zonneveld agreed, noting that hijabs have turned some women into targets for verbal abuse or physical assaults.

"You have to a very strong conviction, a very strong personality to wear a hijab right now," Zonneveld said. "And I have total respect for American Muslims who do that."

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!