Anti-Muslim hate crimes

Hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S increased dramatically last year. According to a Pew Research Center analysis based on FBI statistics, there has been a 67% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes from the previous year, reaching 257 incidents in total.

These incidents include 301 individual crimes (incidents can cover more than one crime), and 71% of the crimes were perpetrated against people, as opposed to property. According to Pew, crimes perpetrated against other religious groups, like Jews or Catholics, often include more property than individual offenses.

In terms of physical assaults, the number of incidents reported has reached similar levels to 2001, in the aftermath of 9/11. For example, 91 incidents were reported last year, two less than in 2001, and 35 more than the ones reported in 2014. Anti-Muslim intimidation crimes - defined as harm threatening the body - also increased during 2015, reaching 120 reports to the FBI. In 2001, the number of intimidation crimes reported was 296.

Most Americans consider that there is “a lot” of discrimination against Muslims in the country, approximately six in ten adults (59%), found in a January 2016 survey conducted by Pew. The same survey also shows that 76% of Americans consider that discrimination against Muslims is increasing. Additionally, 49% thinks that at least “some” Muslims in the U.S are anti-American.

Even though the data for 2016 will not be released until next year by the FBI, there are already increasing reports from other organizations reflecting a growing number of hate crimes against Muslims during this year. The Southern Poverty Law Center for example, has reported more than 30 cases of anti-Muslim incidents only in the five days after the presidential election. The incidents reported in these last two weeks include multiple categories of hate crimes, including anti-immigrant, anti-black and/or anti-LGBT.


Daniela Oliva

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