FBI Report Shows Anti-Muslim Hate Is On the Rise

Alex Brandon
Alex Brandon/AP

The FBI has released its annual hate crime statistics study, and the findings aren’t positive. According to the report, Muslims in the U.S. experienced a massive increase in hate crimes in 2016. This information is upsetting, but not entirely surprising at the heels of last year’s tense presidential election and the ever-increasing intolerance perpetrated by its victor.

The report found a total of 6,063 general incidents last year, with more than 7,509 victims and almost 6,000 offenders involved. Of these reported offenses, almost 25 percent were rooted in an anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim bias. The exact number of offenses were 381—the highest level of reported hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. since 9/11. And of these reported offenders, 46.3 percent were white.

In addition to the FBI, the Council for American-Islamic Relations, the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center have also been tracking the stark increase in Islamophobic hate crimes.

Following the report’s announcement, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan A. Greenblatt released a statement demanding a change.

“It’s deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row,” Greenblatt said. “Hate crimes demand priority attention because of their special impact. They not only hurt one victim, but they also intimidate and isolate a victim’s whole community and weaken the bonds of our society.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also commented on the statistics, writing, “No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, of how they worship.”

But Mr. Sessions, does this apply to all religions?

According to the aforementioned groups and your spotty track record with LGBTQ and religious intolerance, terms and conditions must apply, right? Vice reports that the aforementioned groups “watched with alarm how a series of ISIS-inspired attacks at home and abroad fueled anti-Muslim rhetoric on the [2015 and 2016] campaign trail.”

So your boss' victory is largely to blame for the increase of Islamophobia in the U.S., and while statistics aren’t necessarily facts, they are pretty reliable.

But the 2016 FBI report is only half the story. Of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., only 15,254 agencies participated in last year’s findings. Of these 15,000+ agencies, less than half of all hate crimes are even reported, according to a study by the Department of Justice.

And of these reported incidents, only a fourth were motivated by anti-Muslim bias. 54.2 percent of religion-based hate crimes were anti-Jewish, while 62.8 percent of sexual orientation-based hate crimes were targeted at gay men specifically.

Do better, America.

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