A United States government report says hate crimes against Muslims in America rose 67 percent in 2015.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, produced the report. It says there were 257 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2015 compared to 154 in 2014.
The number has not been that high since 2001, which saw 481 incidents against Muslims. Many of the incidents followed the September 11 terrorist attacks against the U.S. that year.
The FBI report is based on hate crimes recorded by local law enforcement agencies across the United States.
Crimes involving religion increased 23 percent to 1,244, the report said. Jews and Jewish organizations were targeted most in religious-based hate crimes. They represented more than half of all those reported. Hate crimes against Jews rose 9 percent.
Overall, the number of U.S. hate crimes rose from 5,479 in 2014 to 5,850 last year – an almost 7 percent increase. The FBI said 18 victims were murdered and 13 raped. About 41 percent of hate crimes involved threatening behavior, while 60 percent of victims were assaulted.
The largest group of victims – 59 percent – were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, the report says. About 52 percent of these hate crimes were done because of anti-Black bias.
More than 18 percent were victims of anti-White bias, while 9 percent were anti-Hispanic or Latino crimes. About 3 percent resulted from either anti-Asian or anti-American Indian bias, while 1 percent involved anti-Arab crimes.
The FBI report says 48 percent of the violators were white and 24 percent were black.
Nearly 18 percent of reported hate crimes were based on the sexual orientation of victims. Of the 1,263 victims, 62 percent of incidents involved anti-gay bias against men.
The report found that about 2 percent of hate crime victims were targeted because of gender identity bias. About 1 percent of victims faced disability bias, while 0.4 percent were targeted because of gender bias.
There have been reports of a rise in hate-related incidents following Donald Trump’s victory last week in the U.S. presidential election.
The not-for-profit Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said it received more than 400 reports of hate-motivated incidents over the past week. It said most of the incidents involved hateful intimidation of victims.
The reports were gathered from news reports, social media and people contacting the SPLC directly.
Most of the intimidation was directed at immigrants, according to the SPLC’s website. This was followed by threats against African Americans, members of the LGBT community and Muslims.
The Washington-based Council on American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, also said it had received reports of hate-related incidents involving Muslims.
In one incident in Columbus, Ohio, a man at a traffic stop made threats against a woman wearing a hijab. In Michigan, a man threatened to set a Muslim woman on fire unless she took off her hijab.
Donald Trump appeared Sunday night on the CBS news program “60 Minutes.” The president-elect spoke about reports that some of his supporters had used hate speech against others.
“I am so saddened to hear that," Trump said. "And I say, 'Stop it.' If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: 'Stop it.’”
Some Muslim rights groups welcomed Trump’s statement. But they also have called for the president-elect to expand on this message. They have asked that he clearly show supporters he does not approve of hateful behavior.
I’m Bryan Lynn.
And I’m Jill Robbins.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for Learning English, based on the FBI Hate Crime Statistics report and reports from VOA News. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Have you or someone you know been a victim of hate-related incidents? Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
hate crimes – n. crimes motivated completely or in part by a bias against race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
assault – v. to cause physical harm in an attack
bias – n. belief that a group of people, ideas, etc. are better than others
orientation – n. a person’s feelings, interests, or beliefs
gay – adj. sexually attracted to someone of the same sex
gender – n. the state of being male or female
intimidation – n. the act of making someone frightened or afraid
LGBT – short cut phrase. stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
hijab – n. a head covering worn outside the home by Muslim women