Hate crimes against perceived Muslims, which jumped up 50% in 2010 largely as a result of anti-Muslim propagandizing, remained at relatively high levels last year, according to 2011 hate crime statistics released by the FBI.
The bureau reported that there were 157 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2011, down slightly from the 160 recorded in 2010. The 2011 crimes occurred during a period when Islam-bashing propaganda, which initially took off in 2010, continued apace.
Rhetoric from conservatives aimed at inspiring fear about Muslims in the U.S. and sharia law accompanied last year’s high numbers, with a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin by a white supremacist in August. Sikhs follow a separate faith from Muslims, but the two are often conflated and hate crimes against both groups have risen in tandem in the past.
Earlier this month, vandals left a slain pig in front of a mosque near Houston, TX. “I think it borders being a hate crime at least from our prospective,” said Council on American-Islamic Relations’s Mustafaa Carroll, referring to the fact that Muslims do not eat pork and consider pigs an unclean animal.
The FBI’s hate crime statistics are also better at revealing the direction and severity of trends rather than actual numbers, which they tend to vastly understate. A report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2005 determined that the actual amount of hate crimes in the country range from 19 to 31 times higher than the FBI’s numbers.
As Potok put it: “Some 56% of hate crimes are never reported to police and more than half of those that are mischaracterized as non-hate crimes. Think Progress
FACTS & FIGURES
One in five hate crimes reported in the U.S. in 2011 were due to religious bias, most of them stemming from anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic prejudice, while almost half of such crimes were racially-motivated, the FBI has said in its new data.
In 2011, U.S. law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crime incidents involving 7,254 offenses, according to the Hate Crime Statistics, 2011.
These incidents included offenses like vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape and murder, the FBI said.
Of the 6,222 reported hate crimes, 6,216 were single-bias incidents, 46.9% were racially motivated, 19.8% were motivated by religious bias, 11.6 stemmed from ethnicity-national origin bias, and 0.9 % were prompted by disability bias, the FBI said in its annual hate crime statistics report for the year 2011.
Of these offenses 72% were motivated by anti-black bias, 16.7% stemmed from anti-white bias, 4.8 % resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias, 4.7% were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race and 1.9% were motivated by bias against Native Indians.
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,318 offenses reported by law enforcement.