FBI: Reported Hate Crimes Down Nationally, Except Against Muslims
Hate crimes in America dipped across the board in 2014, except in the category of anti-Muslim crimes, which rose about 14 percent over the prior year, according to FBI statistics released today. Given the barbaric Islamic State attacks in Paris last week and elsewhere recently, that latter trend seems destined to accelerate.
The reported drop in total hate crimes of almost 8 percent is probably meaningless, as several studies by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in recent years have showed that the FBI numbers are vastly lower than the real level of hate crimes, making year-over-year comparisons of the totals virtually impossible. (The FBI’s reported national totals went from 5,928 in 2013 to 5,479 last year.)
However, experts have said that within the larger numbers, it is possible to get a good sense of trends. That means the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes is very likely real, probably a reaction to reports of murders and other atrocities carried out by the Islamic State, or ISIS. Other categories of hate crime — anti-Latino, anti-black, anti-LGBT and anti-Jewish — all dropped, according to the new FBI numbers.
The actual totals of anti-Muslim hate crimes — from 135 in 2013 to 154 in 2014 — were not dramatic for a country of close to 320 million people.