Jews the target of overwhelming number of religious-based hate crimes in US, says FBI

Newly released FBI data shows that Jews and Jewish institutions were the overwhelming target of religion-based hate crimes in the United States last year.

The 2018 Hate Crime Statistics reported 7,120 total hate crimes last year, compared to 7,175 in 2017, a decline of less than one per cent.

Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,550 offences, and the majority of those – 57.8 per cent – were anti-Jewish.

By comparison, anti-Muslim hate crimes accounted for 14.5 per cent – the second largest target of religious hate. Anti-Sikh hate crimes accounted for 4.1 per cent of the total.

Overall, religion-based hate crimes decreased by eight per cent from 2017.

“It is unacceptable that Jews and Jewish institutions continue to be at the centre of religion-based hate crime attacks,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, which publishes its own annual “Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents.” “We need to take concrete action to address and combat this significant problem.”

Specifically, Greenblatt proposed Congress pass the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act, a bill that would promote more accurate hate crime data collection and assist hate crime victims and their communities.

Race-based hate crimes were the most common type of hate crime, the report found. Nearly 50 per cent of race-based hate crimes were directed against African Americans.

Read the article by Yonat Shimron in Sight Magazine.