(MintPress) — Recently released FBI reports on hate crime statistics found that for the second year in a row, hate crimes against Muslims, including vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape, murder, etc., remain at relatively high levels. In 2011, the FBI reported 157 anti-Muslim hate crimes, an insignificant drop from the some 160 hate crimes reported in 2010. In […]
(MintPress) — Recently released FBI reports on hate crime statistics found that for the second year in a row, hate crimes against Muslims, including vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape, murder, etc., remain at relatively high levels. In 2011, the FBI reported 157 anti-Muslim hate crimes, an insignificant drop from the some 160 hate crimes reported in 2010.
In 2010 the FBI reported a dramatic 50 percent increase in hate crimes against Muslims for the first time since levels dropped since 2001, after a surge in the amount of anti-Muslim propaganda by the media. The FBI maintains that the continuance of a high level of hate crimes against Muslims in 2011 is tied to a continuance of Islam-bashing propaganda, including battles over the construction of new mosques and the alleged plan that Muslims were to impose religious Sharia law on the U.S.
Just last week a mutilated pig was left in front of a mosque in Texas. Islamic community leaders called the gesture a hate crime, as Muslims don’t eat pork and regard pigs as unclean animals, sharing the same viewpoint as Jews. Mustafaa Carroll with the Council on American-Islamic Relations told a local Houston-area TV station, “I think it borders being a hate crime at least from our perspective, because we’ve seen these before and generally when people put pigs or have dead animals, it’s really something hateful.”
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident, but when neighbors make anonymous comments such as, “This area out here is a big residential area, and there are people out here who don’t want them out here because they are Muslim, but the fact is that they really have come into what is basically a residential area,” it’s hard to label the case as anything but a hate crime.
Let’s not forget, too, about the attacks on mosques and Islamic schools, such as the College Preparatory School of America in Lombard, Ill., where an acid bomb was thrown at the school during the nighttime Ramadan prayers. Or the shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, in which six people were gunned down by neo-Nazi skinhead Wade Michael Page, who is thought to have mistaken members of the faith for Muslims.
Though the hate crime numbers are staggering, two Department of Justice studies say that the numbers from the FBI are notoriously understated, and the real amount of hate crimes in the U.S. are more than 15 times higher than the number reported. Statistics compiled by the FBI are purely compilations of state numbers and neglect to consider the 56 percent of hate crimes that are never reported to police. Similarly, more than half of reported crimes are mischaracterized as non-hate crimes.
A new report compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Hate Crimes Reported by Victims and Police,” found that over the past 15 years, the real level of hate crimes has been between 19 and 31 times higher than what was reported.
Jack Levin, a leading hate crime expert at Northeastern University, called the report “astounding” and said that while the report is not necessarily completely accurate, he would trust the data in the report before trusting the “voluntary law enforcement reports to the FBI.”
But its not just the amount of hate crimes that is worrying – it’s the level of violence. The report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics found hate crimes are more likely to include violence than other crimes. Of the reported hate crimes, 84 percent involved a sexual attack, robbery, assault or murder. This is in contrast to 23 percent of non-hate crimes involving violence.