Islamophobia still on the rise 15 years after 9/11

With the 15th anniversary of 9/11 passing just last Sunday, I find myself taking part in the somewhat unspoken American tradition of taking a moment to remember the day New York City skies went black.
The attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 remain unforgotten in the American mind and are now considered to be one of the defining factors of the new Generation Z.
However, the negative effects of 9/11 on innocent people of the Islamic community and people of South Asian or Middle Eastern descent still ripple onward today.
Islamophobia is a term, in the wake of 9/11, that has only recently gained momentum but has been around for quite some time. First used in 1923 in “The Journal of Theological Studies,” the term Islamophobia quite literally means “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims.”
The United Nations held a conference in 2004 headed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan entitled “Confronting Islamophobia,” re-introducing the term in the public eye.  Annan later asserted that the term had to be coined in order to “take account for increasingly widespread bigotry.”
Although the conversation of confronting Islamophobia was started over 10 years ago, very little “confrontation” has actually occurred in modern times. Islamophobia has far worsened in the years following 9/11.
 In fact, on the anniversary of 9/11, a Florida mosque was targeted and set ablaze, leading 2016 to be The Council on American-Islamic Relations second-worst year on record when it comes to mosque attacks, with 2015 being the worst year with nearly 80 mosque attacks nationwide.
This mosque also happened to be the place of worship for Omar Mateen, who gained notoriety as the man responsible for the Orlando mass shooting, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
On the same day, rocks were thrown at a New Hampshire mosque while worshippers were inside. CAIR has called for a federal investigation into these incidents.
“In light of the hostile political climate impacting the American Muslim community, and because of the spike in hate crimes and threats targeting Muslims and their institutions, we urge federal law enforcement authorities to add their resources to the investigation to help bring the perpetrators to justice and to establish a motive for this disturbing crime,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry in response to the New Hampshire mosque attack. Little effort has been shown by federal law enforcement.
In many cases of hate crimes, but specifically those involving hatred for Islam, the motive of the crime will often be argued as the result of a criminal’s personal opinions rather than acknowledging the existence of a widespread prejudice against Islam, such as the case of the attack on the Florida mosque.
Many reporters of the incident are using their platform in the media to debate whether it was an act of hate or arson, rather than acknowledgingthis is an argument of intent versus impact, and the damage has already been done regardless of motive.
The first step towards a solution to this issue is awareness, and the next is action.
The 2016 elections are chance to take that action.