Hate 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.
WASHINGTON — 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.
JERUSALEM — Catholic leaders in Jerusalem are increasingly concerned that an apparent uptick in nationalistic hate crimes by Jewish extremists against Christians and Muslims could mar the upcoming visit of Pope Francis.
While such crimes are not unusual — a monitoring group found that 32 religious buildings have been vandalized or subjected to arson attempts in the past four years — the frequency of such incidents appears to have increased in recent weeks.
When they first started in 2011, these so-called “price tag” attacks were part of a campaign to extract retribution for actions against Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The idea was that anytime the Israeli army removed an illegal outpost or Palestinian militants attacked settlers, somebody would pay a price. Today, these attacks have spread into Israel proper and don’t always follow actions against Jewish settlements.
“We are very concerned about the repeated acts of hatred against Christians by the price-tag groups,” the Rev. Jamal Khader, rector of Latin Patriarchate Seminary, said Friday.
A woman tells police she shoved a man to his death off a New York subway platform into the path of a train because she hates Muslims and thought he was one.
– A former Marine from Indiana admits that he broke into a mosque in Ohio and set fire to a prayer rug because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas.
– New York Times says the 9/11 attacks have led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all.
– In the spirit of interfaith, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a leading civil advocacy group holds its annual convention at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California amid fierce criticism of the church by Islamophobes
These episodes reflect the dilemma of the seven-million strong American Muslim community which remains under siege more than 11 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York Trade Center and Pentagon.
On December 29, the American Muslim community was shocked at the horrendous murder of Sunando Sen, who was pushed by a women to his death on the tracks of a New York subway station because she thought he was Muslim. “I pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up,” Erika Menendez, 31, told police. She was charged with second degree murder as hate crime. India-born Sunando Sen was raised as Hindu. The murder of Sen at a New York Subway Station of Queens comes only weeks after Pamela Geller placed hate-ads targeting the Arab and Muslim community in subway stations across New York. One of the ads insinuated that Arab and Muslims are “savages” and another ad has an image of the World Trade Center exploding next to a quote from the Quran.