Hate Crimes Against Muslims Rise In US

A new FBI report says hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise.

11.18.15 5:55 AM ET

As Republican officials wring their hands about letting Muslim refugees in the country, hate crimes against Muslims in this country are actually on the rise in the U.S.

While number of hate crimes against Muslims is relatively small, it has gone up over the last year, according to new data the FBI released this week.

Hate crimes in all other categories went down; attacks on Muslims bucked the trend.

The agency’s annual report on hate crime statistics indicates that the total number of reported hate-crime incidents in 2014 is lower than in 2013, decreasing from 5,928 to 5,479.

Of the 1,092 reported hate crimes related to anti-religious sentiment, 16.3 percent were anti-Muslim—a total of 154 incidents and 184 victims. In 2013, there were 135 reported anti-Muslim incidents with 167 victims.

The Southern Poverty Law Center suggested the uptick in crimes targeted at Muslims because of their faith will likely continue in 2015.

“Given the barbaric Islamic State attacks in Paris last week and elsewhere recently, that latter trend seems destined to accelerate,” wrote author Mark Potok.

That’s not to say other religious groups did not experience violence because of what they believe.

Jews are still the top target of hate crimes because of their religion, according to the report. In 2013, 737 were reported to be targeted because they were Jewish. The number of reported victims—648—was lower in 2014 than it was in 2013. More than 58 percent of reported hate crimes related to religious bias were targeted at Jewish victims in 2014.

Christians also faced attacks; 28 Protestants and 70 Catholics were victims of hate crimes in 2014. According to the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Americans are Christians while less than 1 percent are Muslim. The FBI data indicates that, speaking proportionately, Muslims are much more likely to be victimized because of their faith in the U.S. than Christians.