Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Hate crimes

I thought I'd add a few words about the above chart, that I posted yesterday.

It's a chart created from stats I got from the FBI's Universal Crime Reports (UCR) from the first time they started reporting them in 1996, to the latest, 2014.  The Excel spreadsheets of that are here.
First: in my previous post I used these figures as a proxy for people simply being nasty to Muslims (as opposed to committing a "hate crime"), in the wake of the killings in San Bernardino.  Is this fair?  I don't know, but I suspect it is. One would expect that if hate crimes were to go up (or down), that would in some way be reflected in the extent to which, say, Muslim kids are bullied at school, and vice versa.  There's no evidence on this, to be sure, but then again, there are no figures on the amount of bullying, or saying nasty things to Muslims on the subway, other than anecdotal stories.  So for now these Hate Crime figures are the best figures we have on the extent of "anti-Muslim" prejudice.
Second: note that spike of anti-Muslim Hate Crimes just after 9-11, and the corresponding drop in anti-Jewish figures. Why is this?  I don't know.  Perhaps people were so consumed committing hate crimes against Muslims that they had no time for those against Jews.
Third: there's been a gradual drop in anti-semitic hate crimes in the last decade.  This is surely good.  There's been a slight upward trend in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the same period, but only slight.  They still account for only about 16% of all religiously based hate crimes, as opposed to nearly 60% against jews.
Fourth: overall religiously-based hate crimes are still very low.  In numbers, only about 1,300-odd per year on average of the last 20 years, and only 1,000-odd last year.  That's less than three per day over the whole of the US.
Finally: despite the drop in anti-semitic hate crimes and the slight increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes, there's still a yawning gap between the former and the latter.  If we're to be concerned by hate crimes, it still ought to be concern for those that are anti-semitic, not those against other religions, including Islam.