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Hate-Crime Stats Deflate ‘Islamophobia’ Myth
Islamists inflate the number of anti-Muslim crimes in order to silence critics.

Police investigate anti-Semitic graffiti in Edison, New Jersey, in 2009.

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A detailed analysis of FBI statistics covering ten full calendar years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals that, on a per capita basis, American Muslims, contrary to spin, have been subjected to hate crimes less often than other prominent minorities. From 2002 to 2011, Muslims are estimated to have suffered hate crimes at a frequency of 6.0 incidents per 100,000 per year – 10 percent lower than blacks (6.7), 48 percent lower than homosexuals and bisexuals (11.5), and 59 percent lower than Jews (14.8). Americans should keep these numbers in mind whenever Islamists attempt to silence critics by invoking Muslim victimhood.

The federal government defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.” Though statutes mandating harsher punishments for hatred-inspired acts raise the specter of thought crimes, emphasize group identity over the individual, and seemingly favor certain victims over others, the FBI’s tracking of such deeds shines important light on the state of the nation. Annual reports assembled from local law-enforcement data are accessible on the website of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Especially useful is Table 1 of each compilation, which summarizes the number of incidents, offenses, victims, and known offenders for hate crimes committed against members of different groups.

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No class of hate crimes has seen more fluctuation than anti-Muslim ones. The norm was a few dozen incidents per year in the late 1990s, but the number jumped from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001, a spike attributed to post-9/11 backlash. However, it dropped to 155 in 2002 and held remarkably steady through 2006, before falling again to 115 in 2007, 105 in 2008, and 107 in 2009.

Anti-Muslim incidents rose to 160 in 2010, an increase that Islamists and their mouthpieces eagerly blamed on rampant “Islamophobia,” particularly opposition to a proposed giant mosque near Ground Zero. Based on freshly released FBI data, there was little change in 2011, with 157 incidents, 175 offenses, 185 victims, and 138 known offenders. Mark Potok of the reliably leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which puts foes of radical Islam in the same category as Klansmen and neo-Nazis, has declared that “hate crimes against perceived Muslims . . . remained at relatively high levels” as a result of “Islam-bashing propaganda,” anti-Sharia legislation, and ongoing resistance to new mosques, relaying that “several were attacked by apparent Islamophobes.” Note the key word: “several” in a country with at least 2,106 mosques, a few million Muslims, and 300 million–plus non-Muslims.

As hinted above, the dark portrait of America as a nation of violent bigots uniquely hostile to Muslims does not withstand quantitative scrutiny. To smooth out year-to-year variations, consider the past decade (2002–11) of FBI-recorded hate crimes. There were 1,388 incidents against Muslims during this span, compared with 25,130 against blacks; 12,030 against homosexuals and bisexuals; 9,198 against Jews; and 5,057 against Hispanics. Even majority whites endured 7,185 incidents, while Christians (Protestants and Catholics combined) were targeted in 1,126 incidents. Adherents of “other religions” faced 1,335, very close to the anti-Muslim tally.

Due to the different sizes of minority groups, however, raw numbers cannot tell the complete tale. More insightful are per capita rates. Some back-of-the-envelope calculations follow.



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