This graph that they produced demonstrates that incidents have been increasing across the country. In their testimony they went on to say that,
Government, military, and police locations and personnel were the most frequently targeted by domestic terrorist attacks regardless of perpetrator orientation. Of the total 77 terrorist attacks and plots in 2021, 29 were directed against government, military, and police targets. These perpetrators identified with a range of ideologies and movements, including the QAnon conspiracy, the sovereign citizen movement, militia groups, anarchism, anti-fascism, environmentalism, and other anti-government and anti-authority philosophies. The next most common target for violent anarchist, antifascist, and like-minded perpetrators was businesses.
In addition, white supremacists and other like-minded extremists have targeted individuals because of their racial, ethnic, religious, or political makeup—such as African Americans, immigrants, Muslims, and Jews.
So what can be done to resist? To change the narrative? To ensure that every person has the right to live their life, and express their faith, without fear of reprisal or attack? While there are certainly many things that need to happen (political, cultural, social and religious), I am most concerned about the grassroots. And I am most convinced that grassroots change will be the longest lasting change. Nothing will change unless the average person recognizes the problem, identifies that change is possible and joins together with others to help change occur. What’s more, this grassroots movement needs to be led by religious leaders. Too much of the hate is focused on various, usually minority, religious communities, and too often that hatred comes from people who use their faith as justification. We work with religious leaders in an effort to create resilient communities where hate has no home.
This matters enough to me that my team and I are currently working on specific projects, not just around the world, but in my own community. We are working together to listen to the community, to share with others what we have learned, to create collective action to address the concerns, to collaborate with faith leaders to address the concerns, to equip residents with knowledge and tools to push back against extremist behavior and create guidance and best practices that can be replicated by other religious leaders across the country.
Where you live, these extremist acts and rhetoric are happening as well. They are happening across the country. You certainly do not have to replicate our plan, but I would encourage you to unite with others who care and work to develop grassroots solutions.