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Polarization to blame for spike in hate crimes on Muslims and Jews in US as Israel-Hamas war rages, expert says

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Muslim community members leave flowers at Wadea Al Fayoume's grave in LaGrange, Ill., Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.

While the Israel-Hamas war is raging on one side of the world, hate crimes against Jews, Muslims and Arabs are increasing in other parts of the globe.

Ethnic tensions spilling over and prompting retaliation against entire groups of people is not an uncommon reaction to hostilities — even if they’re happening thousands of miles away, says Gordana Rabrenovic, assistant professor of sociology and director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.

In the United States, polarization is one of the foremost reasons for the violence, says Rabrenovic, who has been studying such conflicts for years and wrote a book, “Why We Hate,” with colleague, professor Jack Levin, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The book examines whether hatred is an innate human characteristic or learned behavior.

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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