Anti-Islam sentiment is on the rise in the US - so says Amnesty International. The human rights group has pointed to rising crimes committed against Muslims in the country including the stabbing of a cab driver in New York and attacks on mosques around the country.

Amnesty also highlights the "International Burn a Quran Day" which was sponsored by a Florida church.

While that plan was postphoned by its organisers, it created plenty of hype with many US officials including Barack Obama, the president, rebuking it. 

This all happened as the US marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Generally a somber and solemn event, this year's anniversary was slightly different. Demonstrations were held at 'ground zero' over the proposal to build an Islamic cultural centre two blocks from where the World Trade Centre once stood. Opponents of the project say it is offensive, while supporters say the opposition to it is racist and not allowing it to be built would contravene the US constitution.

Is Islamphobia motivated by politics? Or is it just exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the world's media?

Joining the programme are Richard Miniter, the author of Losing bin Laden and Shadow War, Salam al-Marayati, the president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and Alastair Crooke, the director of Conflicts Forum.

This episode of Inside Story aired from Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera