Explaining the rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the US

file-20170719-13567-pyqde6Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise. The murder of two samaritans for aiding two young women who were facing a barrage of anti-Muslim slurs on a Portland train is among the latest examples of brazen acts of anti-Islamic hatred.

Earlier in 2017, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground by an alleged anti-Muslim bigot. And just last year, members of a small extremist group called “The Crusaders” plotted a bombing “bloodbath” at a residential housing complex for Somali-Muslim immigrants in Garden City, Kansas.

I have analyzed hate crime for two decades at California State University-San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. And I have found that the rhetoric politicians use after terrorist attacks is correlated closely to sharp increases and decreases in hate crimes.

Hate crimes post 9/11

Since 1992 (following the promulgation of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990), the FBI has annually tabulated hate crime data voluntarily submitted from state and territorial reporting agencies. A “hate crime” is defined as a criminal offense motivated by either race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

According to the FBI’s data, hate crimes against Muslims reported to police surged immediately following the terror attacks of 9/11. There were 481 crimes reported against Muslims in 2001, up from 28 the year before. However, from 2002 until 2014, the number of anti-Muslim crimes receded to a numerical range between 105 to 160 annually. This number was still several times higher than their pre-9/11 levels.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CONVERSATION 

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Two Tragedies Underscore Need for Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Two criminal tragedies in two different places underscore the need to work harder than we are on developing better relations between Christians and Muslims:

A HATE CRIME IN CALIFORNIA

Man stabs worshiper at Simi Valley mosque in hate crime, police allege

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A 29-year-old Simi Valley man has been arrested and booked on suspicion of committing a hate crime after he stabbed an apparent worshiper near a mosque, authorities say.

About 11:15 p.m. Saturday, Simi Valley police received reports of people fighting in a shopping center parking lot in the 1800 block of Erringer Road, said Sgt. Adam Darough. The shopping center is “adjacent” to a mosque, Darough said.

 After officers arrived and separated those involved in the fight, police discovered that a man had been stabbed, Darough said.

“During their investigation, [officers] discovered a suspect had confronted a worshiper from the mosque, and after a verbal altercation, they began to fight,” Darough said. “During the fight, [the suspect] stabbed the victim.”

FULL ARTICLE IN LA TIMES 

TERRORISTS KILL 25 IN EGYPTIAN CHURCH

On Muhammad’s birthday, bomb kills 25 at Coptic church in Egypt

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A bomb ripped through Cairo’s Coptic cathedral complex during Sunday Mass, killing at least 25 people and injuring 49, and delivering the bloodiest attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in recent years, according to Egyptian officials and Christian community leaders.

The explosion unfolded inside St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral at the 100-year-old Botrosiya Church, also known as the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, shortly after the 200 or so worshipers had stopped reading Bible verses and the priest was getting to ready to start his sermon, witnesses said.

About 9:45 a.m., “everything turned black suddenly,” Qelliny Farag said.

As of Sunday evening, there had been no claims of responsibility. But suspicion immediately fell on Islamist extremists, including Egypt’s Islamic State branch, who have staged numerous attacks across the country this year targeting soldiers, police and government officials. Sunday’s carnage came less than 48 hours after a bomb killed six police officers and injured an additional three on a road leading to Egypt’s famed Great Pyramids complex.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST

 

 

Hate Crimes Against American Muslims Most Since Post-9/11 Era

18hatecrimes1-master768WASHINGTON — Hate crimes against American Muslims have soared to their highest levels since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to data compiled by researchers, an increase apparently fueled by terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad and by divisive language on the campaign trail.

The trend has alarmed hate crime scholars and law-enforcement officials, who have documented hundreds of attacks — including arsons at mosques, assaults, shootings and threats of violence — since the beginning of 2015.

While the most current hate crime statistics from the F.B.I. are not expected until November, new data from researchers at California State University, San Bernardino, found that hate crimes against American Muslims were up 78 percent over the course of 2015. Attacks on those perceived as Arab rose even more sharply.

Police and news media reports in recent months have indicated a continued flow of attacks, often against victims wearing traditional Muslim garb or seen as Middle Eastern.

Some scholars believe that the violent backlash against American Muslims is driven not only by the string of terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States that began early last year, but also by the political vitriol from candidates like Donald J. Trump, who has called for a ban on immigration by Muslims and a national registry of Muslims in the United States.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES