Hate crimes against Muslims surged by 67% in US: FBI

November 15, 2016 11:02 am

The FBI reported on Monday that attacks against American Muslims surged last year by 67% in the . (Photo by The New York Times)

Hate crimes against Muslims across the spiked last year, according to new statistics released by the FBI, a rise which experts say was partially fueled by anti-Muslim rhetoric of Donald Trump, the US president-elect.  
Anti-Muslim hate crimes shot up 67 percent in 2015, compared with the year before, according to the bureau’s Hate Crime Statistics report issued on Monday. At least 257 of hate crime incidents against Muslims took place in 2015 while 154 happened in 2014.
“That is the highest number since 2001, when the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and elsewhere drove the number to its highest ever level, 481 hate crimes,” said Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization that tracks hate crimes.
“I wasn’t surprised to learn that anti-Muslim hate crime statistics spiked in 2015.” said Jordan Denari Duffner, research fellow at The Bridge Initiative, a research project on Islamophobia at Georgetown University.
“The official FBI statistics confirmed what many of us predicted – that anti-Muslim acts, many of them violent, were on the rise,” Duffner added.
Hate crimes overall grew by 6.8 percent in 2015 to a total of 5,850 incidents reported throughout the year, compared with the 5,479 incidents reported in 2014.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

American Muslims attend a community event. (File photo)

Reports of hate crimes and racially motivated violence against minorities have further increased in after the election of Republican candidate Trump as president.
There was a spate of hate crimes reported on social media and to police last week that targeted Muslims, Latinos and African Americans.
Trump’s supporters have been accused of numerous attacks following his election victory last week, including racist graffiti, death threats and physical assaults.
Trump’s campaign had been hit with many controversies since its inception in early 2015. He repeatedly made disparaging remarks against minorities in the US. His comments include a call to ban all Muslims from coming to America as well as stopping Mexican migrants by building a long wall along the US-Mexico border.
Despite all this, the billionaire businessman still managed to stun the world by defeating the heavily-favored Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the November 8 election.
Trump tells supporters to ‘stop it’

US President-elect Donald Trump talks to CBS’ “60 Minutes” program broadcast on Sunday. (Photo by CBS)

Trump told his supporters in an interview on Sunday to stop attacks against Latinos and Muslims.
“I am so saddened to hear that,” Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” program, when the host told him Latinos and Muslims were facing harassment. “And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: ‘Stop it.’“
Trump has been criticized during his presidential campaign for his inflammatory language against Muslims, immigrants, women and other groups.
The SPLC civil rights organization has monitored a rash of racially motivated violence in campuses around the country.
“I think this is absolutely clearly a result of Trump’s election,” Mark Potok, a senior fellow at SPLC, told the Guardian last week. “Donald Trump has ripped the lid off Pandora’s box.”
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