FBI Reports Sharp Increase in Hate Crimes Against Muslims in America
The FBI’s Hate Crimes Statistics, 2015 shows that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67%, up from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 incidents in 2015.
This report, which logged more than 5,813 reported hate crimes, reveals that attacks motivated by religion rose by nearly 23 percent compared to 2014.
Most hate crimes based on religion targeted Jewish people; anti-Semitic attacks were up more than 9 percent compared to 2014. But the largest percentage increase in religiously motivated attacks were against Muslims.
That puts attacks against Muslims at their highest levels in a decade and a half, The Associated Press reports:
In 2015, there were 257 incidents of anti-Muslim bias compared to 154 incidents the prior year. The total is second only to the surge in hate crimes following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
The increase could be due, in part, to increased reporting by victims as well as better reporting and tracking by law enforcement agencies, although the number of all law enforcement agencies sending their data to the FBI decreased about 3 percent between 2014 and 2015.
The FBI bases its statistics on local law enforcement data, but in 2014 the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated, based on victim surveys, that 60 percent of hate crimes are never reported to police.
NPR reported that the FBI’s report was released as the country was already deep in discussion about frequency of hate crimes—based on controversy over the veracity of reported acts of violence and intimidation following the presidential election.
“It’s true that some anti-immigrant and other bullying stories are spreading unchecked on social media,” NPR’s Kirk Siegler reported. “But there are a growing number of confirmed investigations into alleged harassment and hate crimes: racist graffiti, including pro-Aryan Nation statements in bathrooms at a high school in Minnesota. An Arabic college student wearing a hijab was allegedly robbed and attacked at San Diego State University.”