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Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise in the US

24th Nov 2017
Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise in the US

Elham Asaad Buaras

The latest Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report has revealed a 4.6 percent hike in hate crimes in the US in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Muslims and Jews were the most common targets in the US, with anti-Muslim hate crimes making up the second highest religious bias at 25 percent behind anti-Jewish bias, which accounted for about 55 percent, making Jews the most targeted group in the US.

The annual report released on November 13, which compiled statistics submitted by law enforcement agencies across the country, identified 6,121 incidents, up 4.6 percent from 5,850 in 2015. More than half of the incidents were motivated by the victim’s race, ethnicity or ancestry.

Analysis of the 6,063 single-bias incidents involving 7,509 victims revealed that 21 percent were prompted by religious bias, the second-highest motivation for offenders behind race or ethnicity.

The findings mesh with complaints from the Muslim-American community that its members have experienced a dramatic uptick in the number of Islamophobic attacks.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the new FBI hate crime report shows the need for all Americans to stand up to increasing bigotry nationwide.

“We have all witnessed the anger and prejudice that characterised last year’s election season, and that is growing nationwide in the current political environment,” said Corey Saylor, Director of CAIR’s National Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia.

“To reverse this disturbing trend toward increased hatred and societal division, we must stand up to bigotry and the targeting of minority groups,” he added.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said earlier this year that it found “a dramatic jump in hate violence and incidents of harassment and intimidation around the country” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s November 8, 2016, electoral win.

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