Anti-Muslim hate speech on the Internet is commonplace and can motivate some people to commit acts of violence against Muslims, according to a report released Tuesday by Muslim Advocates, a legal and advocacy group in San Francisco.
"When you have threatening comments online and they go unchecked, people start thinking it's acceptable," said Madihha Ahussain, an attorney and the report's lead author. "And it doesn't take long to figure out that what becomes acceptable online becomes acceptable in the real world."
The report contains examples of hate speech and how it can lead to violence, as well as how victims of online hate speech can report it and counter it. The report aims to help educate parents, students, youths, community leaders, Internet companies and policymakers on how to counter online hate speech.