Abstract: Summary Overview A new multi-state national compilation of official hate crime data across twenty states found incidents overall increased by 5.03% in 2015. Hate crimes against Muslims, however, surged 78% to a total of 196 reported incidents last year. These are levels not surpassed since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, and come at a time of heightened prejudice, recurring terrorism and polarized politics. Projections for anti-Muslim hate crimes for the entire nation for 2015 are at 260 incidents, a 68.9% annual increase, but caution must be exercised regarding estimates. The proportion of Muslims targeted in all hate crime also rose dramatically to 4.51%. The newer data categories of anti-Arab and Anti-Gender/Transgender also increased substantially, 219% and 40% respectively; but some of this increase may arise from improved reporting. Tabulations for larger categories were relatively stable with annual variances within a range of about plus or minus five percent or less. Muslims, Jews, African-Americans, and LGBT people continue to experience hate crime far in excess of their proportion of the population, while anti-Latino incidents remained stable. This new analysis of hate crimes from official government data complied by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, includes four of the five most populous U.S. states and represents 53.5% of the nation’s population. Additional data also revealed a severe increase in hate crime homicides in 2015 to at least 14, a level not seen in well over a decade, as fatal armed attacks by lone-wolf extremists become more deadly, both in total numbers and proportionately. Lastly, our analysis of daily data following terrorist attacks found a tolerant statement about Muslims by a political leader was accompanied by a sharp decline in hate crime, while a less tolerant announcement was followed by a precipitous increase in both the severity and number of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

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Special Status Report: Hate Crime in the United States

Muslims on the defensive: Recent attacks on Muslims have victimized the offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (clockwise from bottom right), three people murdered in North Carolina, and Sarkar Haq, who was beaten in New York. (AP Images/Raad Adayleh, Getty Images/AFP Photo/Jewel Samad, AP Images/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Muslims on the defensive: Recent attacks on Muslims have victimized the offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (clockwise from bottom right), three people murdered in North Carolina, and Sarkar Haq, who was beaten in New York. (AP Images/Raad Adayleh, Getty Images/AFP Photo/Jewel Samad, AP Images/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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