Islamophobic hate crimes up almost 70 percent in US

25th Nov 2016
Islamophobic hate crimes up almost 70 percent in US

Nadine Osman

Islamophobic hate crimes increased by a whopping 67 percent in the United States in 2015 according to the latest figures released by the FBI on November 14. The increase is part of an overall 7 percent hike in hate crimes across the country last year.

Of the 7,121 victims identified in the report, nearly 20 percent were targeted because of a religious bias, the FBI said in its hate crimes report. That is the second-highest motivation for offenders behind race or ethnicity.

Islamophobia made up the second highest religious bias at 22 percent of the total, behind antisemitism that accounted for more than half. In total, 2015 saw 257 anti-Muslim incidents that targeted 307 individuals.

That is the highest number since the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations Government Affairs Director, Robert McCaw, said in a statement that it noticed, “a sharp jump in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide last year. This unprecedented increase in bigotry of all kinds must be repudiated in the strongest terms possible by all our nation’s leaders, beginning with President-elect Donald Trump.”

On several occasions during the election cycle, Trump targeted Muslims, most controversially calling for a ban on entry that he later eased.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit that combats hate crimes, said it has tracked 315 cases of “hateful harassment and intimidation” since Election Day alone.

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