WASHINGTON: Attacks against American Muslims posted a surge last year, contributing to an overall increase in hate crimes against all groups, a New York Times report said quoting an FBI report.
The data, the report said, is the most comprehensive look at hate crimes nationwide, built on previous findings by neutral monitors and researchers, who noted an “alarming rise” in some type of crimes linked to the presidential campaign and in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks at home and abroad since 2015.
Anti-Muslim sentiments especially rose after the Paris attack a year ago and later in San Bernardino that together killed several dozen people. The use of explosive language by President-elect Donald Trump added fuel to anti-Muslim sentiments, especially after his call of banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
The report quoted civil rights groups and news organizations which reporting dozens of verbal or physical assaults on minorities and others that appear to have been fueled by divisions over the election.
The FBI report chronicled a total of 5,818 hate crimes in 2015, a rise of about 6 percent over the previous year, including assaults, bombings, threats, and property destruction against minorities, women, gays and others, according to the report.
“Attacks against Muslim Americans saw the biggest surge. There were 257 reports of assaults, attacks on mosques and other hate crimes against Muslims last year, a jump of about 67 percent over 2014. It was the highest total since 2001, when more than 480 attacks occurred in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.”
Attacks against transgender people also sharply increased. While Blacks and Jews were also targeted in these attacks, “the increases in attacks on these groups were smaller than the rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people,” the NYT report said quoting FBI report.
“Overall, 59 percent of the hate crimes that the F.B.I. recorded were based on the victims’ race, ethnicity or ancestry. Religious bias accounted for about 20 percent of all attacks, and about 18 percent of attacks were based on sexual orientation.”
The NYT report said that since the election, hate crime monitors like the Southern Poverty Law Center have reported a rash of verbal or physical abuse targeting minorities and others at schools, mosques and elsewhere.