Archive for the ‘Hate Crimes’ Category

You Tell Us: Are LGBT Hate Crimes on the Rise? – Advocate.com

In a world where the Justice Department goes out of its way to declare that LGBT people arent covered by civil rights laws, an unhinged man in the White House tweets that he wants to ban transgender peoplefrom the military (which is currently the countrys largest employer of trans people), and statehouses around the country are considering anti-trans bathroom billsand religious freedom legislation that legalizes discrimination against LGBT people it should come as no surprise that LGBT people are being targeted with threats, harassment, and violence.

The LGBT community has long borne the brunt of hate crimes. As The New York Timesreported last year following the Orlando Pulse massacre, LGBT people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against Jews.

Another report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016, by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, found that the majority of those killed in such hate-fuel crimes were trans women of color.

Hate crimes are massively underreported. Those targeted may fear coming forward or doubt that anyone will care (especially if theyve previously been discriminated against or harassed by the police). Indeed, a 2014 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that most hate crimes go unreported, and those that are reported are rarely classified as hate crimes by local law enforcement. That finding was further reiterated by a 2016 investigation conducted by the Associated Press, which found that thousands of police and sheriffs departments around the country hadnt reported a single hate crime between 2009 and 2014.

Of the 5,462 single-bias hate crimesreported to the FBIin 2014, almost one-fifth were because of the targets real or perceived sexual orientation. But with so many in the LGBT community dealing with intersectional biases, our risks of becoming victims are even higher.

Those who study hate crimes often report that when society at large begins to accept a minority, those who hold biases against them feel threatened and lash out. The Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality may have been the dynamite, but the Trump campaign seems to have lit the fuse: Even before the election, jurisdictions were reporting sharp increases in the number of bias based attacks.

For example, theLos Angeles Daily News reported, Los Angeles experienced a 15 percent increase in hate crimes in 2016, along with a significant spike in attacks against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, according to data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino.

The number of reported hate crimes in the county jumped from 200 to 230 in just one year. Brian Levin, the centers director said he was particularly disturbed by the surge in the most violent type of attacks, which are aggravated assaults, which rose nearly 64 percent in 2016, according to Los Angeles Police Department data. Criminal threats rose 33 percent from 27 in 2015 to 36 last year.

To help get a better sense of the number and types of hate crimes, and how their frequency has changed since the election, The Advocate is partnering with other media outlets, civil rights groups, and universities on a ProPublicaproject calledDocumenting Hate.

This year The Advocate has already increased its coverage of incidents of hate, harassment, and violence targetting LGBT individuals. But to further our understanding of this critical issue we need your help. If you have been the victim of a hate crime: attacked verbally, online, or physically and it seemed motivated by your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, trans status, disability, or religion, please share your story with us by filling in the form below. You can also report if youve witnessed this occurring to someone else. Please include your contact details, so someone can follow up with you. Well be sharing this info with our Documenting Hate partners.

We are collecting information about physical assaults, threats, vandalism, and other offenses that meet theFBIs hate crime definition:a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offenders bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

But we also want to know about incidents motivated by hate that may not rise to the legal definition of a crime including online bullying, harassment, and doxxing the public release of your private information including addresses and trans status. (For recommendations on improving your safely check out Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment).

Together we can improve our understanding of the true magnitude of the problem and publicize the intensity of the bias directed at the LGBT community.

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You Tell Us: Are LGBT Hate Crimes on the Rise? – Advocate.com

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Denver hosts first hate crime prevention forum – FOX31 Denver

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DENVER — Community leaders and residents gathered Tuesday for a first-of-its-kind city-hosted forum exploring ways to combat hate crime in Denver.

The biggest obstacle facing police and prosecutors is the lack of motivation victims have to report hate crimes, according to officials.

The forum, held at First Baptist Church in the Captiol Hill neighborhood, served as an opportunity for community leaders and nonprofits to strive for a better understanding as to why people do not report hate crimes.

Organizers said they are working to help victims become more comfortable while encouraging law enforcement to become more approachable.

Speakers drew attention to federal statistics showing a rise in hate crimes over the past year.

For every hate crime that is reported, many more are not, according to the Denver-based Matthew Shepard Foundation.

The foundation wants to understand what motivates people psychologically either to report or to not report, foundation executive director Jason Marsden said.

The foundation is conducting an anonymous online survey to find ways to better support victims and improve police relations.

Some police relations work is already underway within Colorados largest police department.

The Denver Police Department recently installed an LGBTQ community liaison officer and continues to create a partnership with businesses to provide Safe Place reporting sites for victims to seek help.

The work of Denver police officers is supported by a team of specially trained hate crime prosecutors, according to Denvers district attorney.

Now we have attorneys that work very closely with the Denver Police Department who also have a hate/biased team of detectives, District Attorney Beth McCann said.

Over the past year, swastika vandalism has been seen throughout the greater Denver area.

Jewish people are just one of the many targets of this type of crime motivated by race, national origin, disability, gender, religion, skin color and/or sexual orientation/identity.

Federal crime victimology studies have indicated there may be a quarter of a million people a year who are victims to these types of incidents, Marsden said.

Forum organizers said they hope events Tuesday and in the future will not just start a conversation but also have a real impact through education and empowering people to report hate.

A new city ordinance in Denver allows municipal judges to hand down longer sentences for people accused of municipal hate crimes.

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Denver hosts first hate crime prevention forum – FOX31 Denver

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Why so many hate crime victims choose not to report – High Country News

This story originally appeared on ProPublica and is republished here with permission as part of the Documenting Hate project, an investigation into underreported hate crimes and bias incidents in America.

It is one of the most striking and curious statistics contained in a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report on hate crimes in America: 54 percent of the roughly 250,000 people who said they were victimized in recent years chose not to file a formal complaint with the authorities.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation, an advocacy organization based in Colorado that played a role in successfully pushing for national hate crime legislation, has recently tried to better understand the phenomenon. The foundation began asking theDenver residentsnotifying the organization about being victimized to explain why they did or did not report the incident to the police.

The effort began in February and so far has produced a modest 15 responses not all of which appear to be crimes. But in a country largely bereft of reliable or probing data on hate crimes, the information collected by the foundation has value.

The foundation, which shared its data as part of ourDocumenting Hateproject, agreed to make public some of the responses to the question on reporting to authorities. The responses are anonymous, but they offer glimpses into the mix of forces at work when victims are deciding what to do: confusion about the definition of hate crimes; skepticism of the commitment by law enforcement to aggressively investigate; fear of retaliation.

They echo what other organizations have heard through listening sessions, meetings, and the national victims of crime survey responses, said Jason Marsden, the foundations executive director, referencing the Bureau of Justice Statistics report.

For one transgender person who reported that homophobic slurs and beer cans were hurled at them, the answer to why they reported the assault to the police was clear: To get these men charged with a crime.

For others, there was confusion as to whether what happened to them was worth reporting to the police. One of the responses came from a gay woman who had felt menaced by a drunk man, who screamed at her: You fucking dykes are all going to hell. The woman said her main concern was to flee the scene as quickly as possible.

She said it was also far from clear to her that the menacing amounted to a crime, since it was just mean words. It would take a real investigation to answer her uncertainty, but its quite likely the incident didnt qualify as a prosecutable crime.

A Hispanic woman walking through her neighborhood wrote that she felt sexually harassed by passengers in a passing car. Working or walking? she said they asked her. She didnt call the cops. It is just expected that women have to deal with this and it is a fact of our lives, she wrote. On a more logistical level, she added, I did not get the license plate number.

A gay woman with short hair reported that another woman tried to bar her from entering the womens room at a McDonalds, believing she was transgender. It was pointless to report, she said, though she added she had to physically move the woman from her path.

Hate incidents are severely underreported – a new project is trying to fill in those data gaps.

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A number of the respondents did call the police, to mixed effect. A gay, black man at a rally against President Donald Trumps travel ban said a passenger in a passing vehicle threw an egg at his face. When he contacted the Denver Police Department, the dispatcher seemed unsympathetic, he reported. No police officer came to my assistance, although I felt I was in distress.

Another gay man said he was followed around a store by an angry man who yelled homophobic slurs at him. I refuse to allow anyone to attack me like this, so I reported it, he wrote. He went on to say, without further explanation, that when it was all over, he wound up being ticketed by the police for disturbing the peace.

A disabled lesbian woman in the citys suburbs said a neighbor tried to run her down with his car. She said she wanted to call the police, but that she was afraid. I often think I will not be believed or taken seriously, she wrote. When she called the police anyway, she asked the officers not to confront the man, fearing retaliation for filing a report. I knew that reporting the incident was important both to notify authorities to have the incident documented, to have evidence of harassment on file in the event of a future incident, and because no matter who I am or what my sexuality is, I knew this was wrong and potentially criminal, she wrote.

When a recently disabled gay man said he was attacked by another man whod asked for bus fare, he said he was prevented from calling the police by his assailant. Faggot, you calling the police, the man reportedly said as he punched the victim. Luckily, he wrote, someone else called the authorities for him. He thought the cops were great. They were very compassionate, he wrote, adding that the officers offered to have a victim advocate talk with him, and came back later to check on him.

In all, most of the people surveyed did not report incidents to the police.

My take on the results mostly is that people are not reporting because they just dont think the police are going to take it seriously enough, or they dont think the incident went to that level, said Stephen Griffin, who the foundation contracted with to implement the survey.

Christine Downs, a spokesperson for the Denver Police Department, said by email that even if a person doesnt believe what happened to them was a crime, they should report the incident to the police. The Denver Police Department strongly encourages all residents to report crime, regardless of how insignificant they may think it is, especially bias-motivated crimes, she said.

Marsden, the Matthew Shepard Foundations executive director, plans to try to expand their survey to other cities to keep learning more about why people dont report incidents of hate, and to take what they learn to the police officers they work with. I think that can help keep people safe and help on the prevention side of things, he said. You have to be an optimist in this line of work.

This story originally appearedon ProPublicaand is republished here with permission as part ofthe Documenting Hate project, an investigation into underreported hate crimes and bias incidents in America.

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Why so many hate crime victims choose not to report – High Country News

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California Hate Crimes Increase by 11 Percent – Santa Barbara Independent

A report released by the California Department of Justice found that hate crimes increased by 11.2 percent between 2015 and 2016, from 837 to 931. Perhaps this report should come as no surprise, given it spanned a year with one of the highest levels of racial discontent since the 1992 Rodney King riots and a presidential candidate who routinely excoriated Mexican immigrants. Racially motivated hate crimes accounted for 55.9 percent of all hate crimes statewide: 48.4 percent were against African Americans, 16 percent were anti-Latino or Hispanic, and 10.8 percent were antiwhite. A fifth involved the victims sexual orientation. (Nationwide, another report shows a 67 percent increase in hate crimes againstMuslims.)

The report tracked two hate crimes in Santa Barbara County: One was racially motivated, the otherhomophobic.

However, the Santa Barbara Police Department also recorded three hate crimes in 2016 that were not included in the report. All were assaults on men perceived to be gay and took place near State Street in the late afternoon, between June and October. Notably, hate crimes against gay males increased statewide by 40.7 percent thatyear.

In 2017 the Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office has already handled three hate crimes. On February 23, a white suspect threatened an Asian man while yelling racial slurs during a vehicle-related altercation. Two days later, at the PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) shelter, a white man threatened an African-American man. Then in April, a 19-year-old Isla Vista resident physically attacked a 63-year-old man while yelling homophobicremarks.

In 2008, former President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named after a gay teenager from Wyoming and an African-American man from Texas, respectively, both victims of brutal murders in 1998. The landmark legislation expanded the authority of the FBI to investigate hate crimesnationally.

A special report published in June by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that more than half of all violent hate crimes went unreported between 2011 and 2015, based on an annual survey of 90,000 households. Humiliation, concern about retaliation, fear that their identity will be discovered, language barriers, and disabilities are factors that often silence victims and make it difficult to take an accurate pulse on hate crimes in our community, according to Cyndi Silverman, regional director of Santa Barbaras Anti-Defamation League(ADL).

Silverman says shes witnessed a marked increase in hate incidents in the last year. Hate incidents, a term used by the ADL, differ from hate crimes in that they do not threaten anyones immediate physical safety but encourage a culture of discrimination and fear, such as when white supremacist posters were found along Cliff Drive near Santa Barbara CityCollege.

National civil rights organizations have also reported a significant uptick over the past year, especially in the month immediately following the 2016 presidential election, during which the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 1,094 incidents. Silverman explained: Theres been an environment in which people have felt empowered to say or do things they wouldnt have done before, that they would have kept under wraps. Maybe this was under the surface, but now its out. She added, Our bubble is not as perfect as wethink.

Silverman and Brianna Moffitt, ADLs director of development, also reported xenophobic bullying on Santa Barbara school campuses, with kids telling other classmates to go back to your country. As a result, ADL is partnering with school districts and other groups throughout the tri-county area to host antibias trainings anddialogues.

In May, the ADL also held the Together as One community summit, which was attended by about 160 community members ranging from 2 to 97 years of age. The event was designed to encourage dialogues despite differences and help participants identify and unlearn their own implicit biases. On October 29, the ADL will host a second Together as One event, which is free and open to the public. Register at santabarbara.adl.org/together/.

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Jack’d Adds GPS ‘Blurring Feature’ to Protect Gay Americans From Hate Crimes – Advocate.com

Jack’d has added a “blurring feature” to protect its American users from hate crimes.

The tool obfuscates the exact location of a user so that others using the gay dating app cannot pinpoint his whereabouts although they can tell if he is nearby. It has previously been employed in antigay nations where this information could place queer people in peril.

Thanks to hatred incited by the presidential election, that list now includes the United States.

The blurring feature was originally created as a tool to protect gay menin countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that have a history of violence against the gay community, confirmed Alon Rivel, the app’s director of global marketing, in a statement.

Since the 2016 election, however, there has been a surge in bullying and hate crimes against the LGBTQ community in the U.S.,” he continued. “As a result, a growing number of gay men here want to increase their privacy and keep their locations private too.

The U.S. election did indeed spark a surge in hate crimes and bullying targeting queer people. The Los Angeles Times reports that crimes against the city’s LGBT population increased by 24.5 percent in 2016. Even LGBT centers, as symbols of the community, have experienced an uptick in attacks and defacement. An arsonist who attacked a Phoenix LGBT center was arrested last weekend.

The world will live in is still not LGBTQ tolerant and with 70 percent of our users being young millennials, we have to be proactive in protecting their privacy, said Rivel.

In his speech at the Republican National Convention, President Trump vowed to be an ally of the LGBT community, leaving some to hope he might help quell antigay sentiment. However, Trump’s recent acts his silence on the attacks on gay and bi men in Chechnya, his announced intention to ban transgender troops from the U.S. military, and the Justice Department’s claim that the protections ofTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act do not cover gay people have had the opposite effect.

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Jack’d Adds GPS ‘Blurring Feature’ to Protect Gay Americans From Hate Crimes – Advocate.com

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‘I Only Wish I Could Exchange My Life for Another’ – Human Rights Watch

Anti-gay rights activists stand on a rainbow flag during a protest by gay rights activists demonstrating against a proposed new law termed by the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, as “against advocating the rejection of traditional family values” in central Moscow June 11, 2013.

Lilly, a transgender woman from Uzbekistan, traveled to northern Russia in 2015, in search of work, hoping to earn money for her transition. In December 2016, three men attacked her on the street, forced her into a car, and gang-raped her. They also filmed the rape and extorted money from Lilly by threatening to publish the video online.

Police promptly arrested two of the perpetrators hours later. In May of this year, a court in Murmansk found the two men guilty of extortion with the use of violence and sentenced them to four years in prison. They were never charged with the rape the rape that changed Lillys life irretrievably. I only wish I could exchange my life for another,Lilly told me.But the court did recognize that the men targeted Lilly because of hate hatred for her gender identity a rare breakthrough in Russia.

Hate attacks in 2010-2016 marked on Russias map red stands for killing; green stands for bodily harm.

Its significant that hostility towards LGBT people was acknowledged as a motivating factor precisely because hate crimes are a serious issue in Russia, and something that the United Nations experts who monitor Russias compliance with the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will examine in Geneva this week. It is a difficult task because Russian authorities dont compile hate crime data and have not been contributing to the OSCEs statistics on hate crimes, published annually by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Nevertheless, independent monitors flag that the most frequent victims of hate attacks in Russia are non-Slavs, religious minorities, and LGBT people.

In Moscow, Anastasia Denisova, of Russias leading migrant support group Civic AssistanceCommittee, runs the project hatecrimes.ru, which provides legal assistance to victims and, in the absence of official statistics, maps out hate crimes on an interactive map of Russia with the use of countrywide findings by SOVA-Center, an independent think tank. She told me that, in most cases when non-ethnic Russians are attacked, police begin by treating the victim as the guilty party and our lawyers have to work hard to make them realize who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Also, if a victim of a hate crime was also robbed, for instance, the authorities tend to launch a case on robbery, ignoring the hate motive.

Russia should ensure that authorities systematically recognize hate motives in a crime as an aggravating circumstance and launch mandatory training programs for law enforcement officials and judiciary. The government should also list hate crimes as a separate category in criminal statistics to give the public a clear picture of the issues scope and resume its reporting on hate crimes to the OSCE as part of contributing to international efforts aimed at resolving the problem.

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hate crime | law | Britannica.com

Hate crime, harassment, intimidation, or physical violence that is motivated by a bias against characteristics of the victim considered integral to his social identity, such as his race, ethnicity, or religion. Some relatively broad hate-crime laws also include sexual orientation and mental or physical disability among the characteristics that define a hate crime.

The concept of hate crime emerged in the United States in the late 1970s. By the end of the 20th century, laws mandating additional penalties for bias-motivated crimes had been passed by the federal government and by most U.S. states. (Unlike many broader state laws, the federal law allowed for the prosecution of hate crimes motivated only by the colour, race, religion, or national origin of the victim.) Increasingly, criminal conduct motivated by bigotry came to be regarded as substantially different from, and in some respects more pernicious than, other kinds of crime. Reflecting the politics of the issue as well as the actual incidence of bias-motivated crime, racial and religious minorities and women have been recognized in many statutes as potential victims of hate crime, whereas other groups, such as the elderly and children, have not.

Laws intended to curb hate crimes have been implemented in several other Western countries. Australia, for example, has outlawed at the federal, state, and territory level words and images that incite hatred toward particular racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Relying on existing discrimination law, Australia has also prohibited conduct that constitutes vilification or racial hatred. Britain and Canada have passed laws designed to curb violence directed at minority groups, and Germany has forbidden public incitement and the instigation of racial hatred, including the distribution of Nazi propaganda or literature liable to corrupt the youth. Most legislation outside the United States, however, has taken a narrow view of hate crime, focusing primarily on racial, ethnic, and religious violence, and in most non-Western countries there are no hate-crime laws. Nevertheless, by the beginning of the 21st century, civil rights organizations around the world were applying the term hate crime broadly to describe bias crimes involving various characteristics used to differentiate social groups.

Critics of hate-crime laws have argued that they are redundant because they create additional penalties for acts that are already punishable under criminal law. They also charge that such laws treat victims of different groups unequally and that they punish the thoughts of offenders rather than merely their actions. Defenders of hate-crime laws argue that hate crimes are fundamentally different in character from other types of violent crime, in part because they threaten the safety of entire groups of people; they also note that the thoughts of the offender are taken into account in the definitions of other violent crimes, such as first- and second-degree murder. Despite its controversial nature, various forms of hate-crime law in the United States have withstood constitutional challenge.

In 2009 U.S. Pres. Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The new legislation expanded the federal hate-crimes statute to include violent crimes motivated by disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

…and left to die. Shepards death, which was evidence of the physical danger that homosexuals still sometimes faced in the United States, became for the gay rights movement a symbol of the need for hate crime legislation.

…(a Christian Identity-based hate group prominent in the late 20th century), and the Aryan Brotherhood (a group originating in San Quentin [California] prison). That association with racism, crime, hate crimes, and Nazism has given the word a powerful new negative sense.

country in North America, a federal republic of 50 states. Besides the 48 conterminous states that occupy the middle latitudes of the continent, the United States includes the state of Alaska, at the northwestern extreme of North America, and the island state of Hawaii, in the mid-Pacific Ocean….

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Explaining the rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the US – Salon … – Salon

Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise. The murder of two samaritans for aiding two young women who were facing a barrage of anti-Muslim slurs on a Portland train is among the latest examples of brazen acts of anti-Islamic hatred.

Earlier in 2017, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground by an alleged anti-Muslim bigot. And just last year, members of a small extremist group called The Crusaders plotted a bombing bloodbath at a residential housing complex for Somali-Muslim immigrants in Garden City, Kansas.

I have analyzed hate crime for two decades at California State University-San Bernardinos Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. And I have found that the rhetoric politicians use after terrorist attacks is correlated closely to sharp increases and decreases in hate crimes.

Hate crimes post 9/11

Since 1992 (following the promulgation of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990), the FBI has annually tabulated hate crime data voluntarily submitted from state and territorial reporting agencies. A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense motivated by either race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.

According to the FBIs data, hate crimes against Muslims reported to police surged immediately following the terror attacks of 9/11. There were 481 crimes reported against Muslims in 2001, up from 28 the year before. However, from 2002 until 2014, the number of anti-Muslim crimes receded to a numerical range between 105 to 160 annually. This number was still several times higher than their pre-9/11 levels.

It should be noted that other government data, such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which relies on almost 200,000 residential crime surveys, as opposed to police reports, show severe official undercounting of hate crime. These studies, based on respondents answers to researchers, indicate a far higher annual average of hate crime 250,000 nationally with over half stating that they never reported such offenses to police.

FBI data show that in 2015 there were 257 hate crimes against Muslims the highest level since 2001 and a surge of 67 percent over the previous year.

As I noted in a prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2017, this was the second-highest number of anti-Muslim hate crimes since FBI record-keeping began in 1992. Not only did anti-Muslim crime cases rise numerically in 2015, they also grew as a percentage of all hate crime. They now account for 4.4 percent of all reported hate crime even though Muslims are estimated to be only 1 percent of the population.

When do the spikes happen?

At our center, we analyzed even more recent disturbing trends related to hate crimes. Based on the latest available police data for 2016 from 25 of the nations largest cities and counties, we found a 6 percent increase in all hate crimes, with over half of the places at a multi-year high. In particular, hate crimes against Muslims had increased in six of the seven places that provided more detailed breakdowns.

We also observed a spike in such crime following certain events.

In 2015, for example, we found 45 incidents of anti-Muslim crime in the United States in the four weeks following the November 13 Paris terror attack.

Just under half of these occurred after December 2, when the San Bernardino terror attack took place. Of those, 15 took place in the five days following then-candidate Donald Trumps proposal of December 7, seeking to indefinitely ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

In contrast, as I observed in my prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after an initial sharp spike following the 9/11 attacks, sociologist James Nolan and I found that there was a drop in hate crimes after President George W. Bush delivered a speech promoting tolerance on Sept. 17, 2001.Other groups too, have found similar spikes in anti-Muslim hatred: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for example, noted that from the month of the presidential election, through Dec. 12, 2016, there was a spike in hate incidents against many minority groups. The SPLC found that the third most frequently targeted group after immigrants and African-Americans were Muslims. And just this month the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, reported 72 instances of harassment and 69 hate crimes that had occurred between April and June 2017.

Fear of Muslims

Prejudicial stereotypes that broadly paint Muslims in a negative light are quite pervasive.

From 2002 to 2014, the number of respondents who stated that Islam was more likely to encourage violence doubled from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to Pew research. A June 2016 Reuters/Ipsos online poll found that 37 percent of Americans had a somewhat or very unfavorable view of Islam, topped only by antipathy for atheism at 38 percent.

The latest polls also show how Muslims are feared and distrusted as a group in America. While most Americans do not believe that Muslims living in the U.S. support extremism, these views vary widely by age, level of education and partisan affiliation: Almost half of those 65 and older believe that Muslims in America support extremism, whereas only few college-educated adults do so.

Interestingly, current polls also show that when people personally know someone who is a Muslim, the bias is much less. This confirms what psychology scholar Gordon Allport concludes in his seminal book, The Nature of Prejudice, that meaningful contact with those who are different is crucial for reducing hatred.

Indeed, before we can truly say love thy neighbor(s), we need to know and understand them.

Brian Levin, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Director, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University San Bernardino

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#GoodMuslimBadMuslim hosts take on sex, hate crimes and Zayn Malik – ABC News

It all started with a joke.

Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh met on a book tour for Love, InshAllah, a collection of stories by American Muslim women to which they contributed, and launched a running joke afterward on Twitter.

We started going back and forth, and wed make fun of, you know, burka-bikinis, Next time, on the Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast, said Ahmed. And our followers were like, Where do we hear this podcast?”

Ahmed, an activist and writer, and Noorbakhsh, a comedian and writer, decided to give their fans what they wanted. The monthly Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast launched in 2015. The pair have since been featured on NPR, Buzzfeed, Fusion, The New York Times, and have gained thousands of fans with their honest and unfiltered take on the highly-complicated yet incredibly-average issues faced by American Muslim women.

Were not talking about hate crimes every episode, even though we do talk about hate crimes. And were not talking about sex in every episode, even though we do talk about sex, said Ahmed. The fact that were just two women having a normal conversation, the way women have conversations, is the political act. And thats really powerful. And I think its, for some reason, its unexpected, even though it shouldnt be unexpected.

Episode topics range from ringtones and secret phobias to singer-songwriter Zayn Malik and Islamophobia. They talk about terrorist attacks and body waxing. Feminism and Sesame Street. Barbie dolls and politics. They talk about their families. Their love lives. Their fears, and hopes, and concerns. Their podcasts can feel like a conversation between two friends who talk about both the small and big things affecting their days and their lives offering an informative and thorough discussion for listeners benefit.

The podcast title, Ahmed and Noorbakhsh say, is a nod to common but misguided labeling of American Muslims, both by fellow Muslims and non-Muslims. The variety of topics covered in the conversations and the fact that the two hosts often disagree is, they say, proof enough that there is no one “community” with which all followers of the faith in the U.S. need to identify.

I have fatwad the use of the word ‘community.’ Im sick of it, said Noorbakhsh. I have talked to so many bigoted, conservative Muslims, Republican Muslims, Muslims who dont believe in reproductive rights, who dont believe in queer rights. Thats not my community. I dont connect with them.

I think a big part of being the person that creates the media and gets attacked all the time, is to not read the hateful comments, said Ahmed. I dont think theyre listening. Theyre definitely not listening to our podcast So I dont hear it.

Check out the full conversation on this weeks episode of “Uncomfortable.”

Download and subscribe to the “Uncomfortable” podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts.

Ahmed and Noorbakhsh were interviewed as part of a series called “Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.

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You Tell Us: Are LGBT Hate Crimes on the Rise? – Advocate.com

In a world where the Justice Department goes out of its way to declare that LGBT people arent covered by civil rights laws, an unhinged man in the White House tweets that he wants to ban transgender peoplefrom the military (which is currently the countrys largest employer of trans people), and statehouses around the country are considering anti-trans bathroom billsand religious freedom legislation that legalizes discrimination against LGBT people it should come as no surprise that LGBT people are being targeted with threats, harassment, and violence. The LGBT community has long borne the brunt of hate crimes. As The New York Timesreported last year following the Orlando Pulse massacre, LGBT people are twice as likely to be targeted as African-Americans, and the rate of hate crimes against them has surpassed that of crimes against Jews. Another report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence in 2016, by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, found that the majority of those killed in such hate-fuel crimes were trans women of color. Hate crimes are massively underreported. Those targeted may fear coming forward or doubt that anyone will care (especially if theyve previously been discriminated against or harassed by the police). Indeed, a 2014 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics revealed that most hate crimes go unreported, and those that are reported are rarely classified as hate crimes by local law enforcement. That finding was further reiterated by a 2016 investigation conducted by the Associated Press, which found that thousands of police and sheriffs departments around the country hadnt reported a single hate crime between 2009 and 2014. Of the 5,462 single-bias hate crimesreported to the FBIin 2014, almost one-fifth were because of the targets real or perceived sexual orientation. But with so many in the LGBT community dealing with intersectional biases, our risks of becoming victims are even higher. Those who study hate crimes often report that when society at large begins to accept a minority, those who hold biases against them feel threatened and lash out. The Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality may have been the dynamite, but the Trump campaign seems to have lit the fuse: Even before the election, jurisdictions were reporting sharp increases in the number of bias based attacks. For example, theLos Angeles Daily News reported, Los Angeles experienced a 15 percent increase in hate crimes in 2016, along with a significant spike in attacks against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities, according to data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino. The number of reported hate crimes in the county jumped from 200 to 230 in just one year. Brian Levin, the centers director said he was particularly disturbed by the surge in the most violent type of attacks, which are aggravated assaults, which rose nearly 64 percent in 2016, according to Los Angeles Police Department data. Criminal threats rose 33 percent from 27 in 2015 to 36 last year. To help get a better sense of the number and types of hate crimes, and how their frequency has changed since the election, The Advocate is partnering with other media outlets, civil rights groups, and universities on a ProPublicaproject calledDocumenting Hate. This year The Advocate has already increased its coverage of incidents of hate, harassment, and violence targetting LGBT individuals. But to further our understanding of this critical issue we need your help. If you have been the victim of a hate crime: attacked verbally, online, or physically and it seemed motivated by your race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, trans status, disability, or religion, please share your story with us by filling in the form below. You can also report if youve witnessed this occurring to someone else. Please include your contact details, so someone can follow up with you. Well be sharing this info with our Documenting Hate partners. We are collecting information about physical assaults, threats, vandalism, and other offenses that meet theFBIs hate crime definition:a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offenders bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity. But we also want to know about incidents motivated by hate that may not rise to the legal definition of a crime including online bullying, harassment, and doxxing the public release of your private information including addresses and trans status. (For recommendations on improving your safely check out Speak Up & Stay Safe(r): A Guide to Protecting Yourself From Online Harassment). Together we can improve our understanding of the true magnitude of the problem and publicize the intensity of the bias directed at the LGBT community.

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August 3, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

Denver hosts first hate crime prevention forum – FOX31 Denver

Please enable Javascript to watch this video DENVER — Community leaders and residents gathered Tuesday for a first-of-its-kind city-hosted forum exploring ways to combat hate crime in Denver. The biggest obstacle facing police and prosecutors is the lack of motivation victims have to report hate crimes, according to officials. The forum, held at First Baptist Church in the Captiol Hill neighborhood, served as an opportunity for community leaders and nonprofits to strive for a better understanding as to why people do not report hate crimes. Organizers said they are working to help victims become more comfortable while encouraging law enforcement to become more approachable. Speakers drew attention to federal statistics showing a rise in hate crimes over the past year. For every hate crime that is reported, many more are not, according to the Denver-based Matthew Shepard Foundation. The foundation wants to understand what motivates people psychologically either to report or to not report, foundation executive director Jason Marsden said. The foundation is conducting an anonymous online survey to find ways to better support victims and improve police relations. Some police relations work is already underway within Colorados largest police department. The Denver Police Department recently installed an LGBTQ community liaison officer and continues to create a partnership with businesses to provide Safe Place reporting sites for victims to seek help. The work of Denver police officers is supported by a team of specially trained hate crime prosecutors, according to Denvers district attorney. Now we have attorneys that work very closely with the Denver Police Department who also have a hate/biased team of detectives, District Attorney Beth McCann said. Over the past year, swastika vandalism has been seen throughout the greater Denver area. Jewish people are just one of the many targets of this type of crime motivated by race, national origin, disability, gender, religion, skin color and/or sexual orientation/identity. Federal crime victimology studies have indicated there may be a quarter of a million people a year who are victims to these types of incidents, Marsden said. Forum organizers said they hope events Tuesday and in the future will not just start a conversation but also have a real impact through education and empowering people to report hate. A new city ordinance in Denver allows municipal judges to hand down longer sentences for people accused of municipal hate crimes.

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August 2, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

Why so many hate crime victims choose not to report – High Country News

This story originally appeared on ProPublica and is republished here with permission as part of the Documenting Hate project, an investigation into underreported hate crimes and bias incidents in America. It is one of the most striking and curious statistics contained in a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report on hate crimes in America: 54 percent of the roughly 250,000 people who said they were victimized in recent years chose not to file a formal complaint with the authorities. The Matthew Shepard Foundation, an advocacy organization based in Colorado that played a role in successfully pushing for national hate crime legislation, has recently tried to better understand the phenomenon. The foundation began asking theDenver residentsnotifying the organization about being victimized to explain why they did or did not report the incident to the police. The effort began in February and so far has produced a modest 15 responses not all of which appear to be crimes. But in a country largely bereft of reliable or probing data on hate crimes, the information collected by the foundation has value. The foundation, which shared its data as part of ourDocumenting Hateproject, agreed to make public some of the responses to the question on reporting to authorities. The responses are anonymous, but they offer glimpses into the mix of forces at work when victims are deciding what to do: confusion about the definition of hate crimes; skepticism of the commitment by law enforcement to aggressively investigate; fear of retaliation. They echo what other organizations have heard through listening sessions, meetings, and the national victims of crime survey responses, said Jason Marsden, the foundations executive director, referencing the Bureau of Justice Statistics report. For one transgender person who reported that homophobic slurs and beer cans were hurled at them, the answer to why they reported the assault to the police was clear: To get these men charged with a crime. For others, there was confusion as to whether what happened to them was worth reporting to the police. One of the responses came from a gay woman who had felt menaced by a drunk man, who screamed at her: You fucking dykes are all going to hell. The woman said her main concern was to flee the scene as quickly as possible. She said it was also far from clear to her that the menacing amounted to a crime, since it was just mean words. It would take a real investigation to answer her uncertainty, but its quite likely the incident didnt qualify as a prosecutable crime. A Hispanic woman walking through her neighborhood wrote that she felt sexually harassed by passengers in a passing car. Working or walking? she said they asked her. She didnt call the cops. It is just expected that women have to deal with this and it is a fact of our lives, she wrote. On a more logistical level, she added, I did not get the license plate number. A gay woman with short hair reported that another woman tried to bar her from entering the womens room at a McDonalds, believing she was transgender. It was pointless to report, she said, though she added she had to physically move the woman from her path. Hate incidents are severely underreported – a new project is trying to fill in those data gaps. Western CT State University/Flickr A number of the respondents did call the police, to mixed effect. A gay, black man at a rally against President Donald Trumps travel ban said a passenger in a passing vehicle threw an egg at his face. When he contacted the Denver Police Department, the dispatcher seemed unsympathetic, he reported. No police officer came to my assistance, although I felt I was in distress. Another gay man said he was followed around a store by an angry man who yelled homophobic slurs at him. I refuse to allow anyone to attack me like this, so I reported it, he wrote. He went on to say, without further explanation, that when it was all over, he wound up being ticketed by the police for disturbing the peace. A disabled lesbian woman in the citys suburbs said a neighbor tried to run her down with his car. She said she wanted to call the police, but that she was afraid. I often think I will not be believed or taken seriously, she wrote. When she called the police anyway, she asked the officers not to confront the man, fearing retaliation for filing a report. I knew that reporting the incident was important both to notify authorities to have the incident documented, to have evidence of harassment on file in the event of a future incident, and because no matter who I am or what my sexuality is, I knew this was wrong and potentially criminal, she wrote. When a recently disabled gay man said he was attacked by another man whod asked for bus fare, he said he was prevented from calling the police by his assailant. Faggot, you calling the police, the man reportedly said as he punched the victim. Luckily, he wrote, someone else called the authorities for him. He thought the cops were great. They were very compassionate, he wrote, adding that the officers offered to have a victim advocate talk with him, and came back later to check on him. In all, most of the people surveyed did not report incidents to the police. My take on the results mostly is that people are not reporting because they just dont think the police are going to take it seriously enough, or they dont think the incident went to that level, said Stephen Griffin, who the foundation contracted with to implement the survey. Christine Downs, a spokesperson for the Denver Police Department, said by email that even if a person doesnt believe what happened to them was a crime, they should report the incident to the police. The Denver Police Department strongly encourages all residents to report crime, regardless of how insignificant they may think it is, especially bias-motivated crimes, she said. Marsden, the Matthew Shepard Foundations executive director, plans to try to expand their survey to other cities to keep learning more about why people dont report incidents of hate, and to take what they learn to the police officers they work with. I think that can help keep people safe and help on the prevention side of things, he said. You have to be an optimist in this line of work. This story originally appearedon ProPublicaand is republished here with permission as part ofthe Documenting Hate project, an investigation into underreported hate crimes and bias incidents in America.

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August 2, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

California Hate Crimes Increase by 11 Percent – Santa Barbara Independent

A report released by the California Department of Justice found that hate crimes increased by 11.2 percent between 2015 and 2016, from 837 to 931. Perhaps this report should come as no surprise, given it spanned a year with one of the highest levels of racial discontent since the 1992 Rodney King riots and a presidential candidate who routinely excoriated Mexican immigrants. Racially motivated hate crimes accounted for 55.9 percent of all hate crimes statewide: 48.4 percent were against African Americans, 16 percent were anti-Latino or Hispanic, and 10.8 percent were antiwhite. A fifth involved the victims sexual orientation. (Nationwide, another report shows a 67 percent increase in hate crimes againstMuslims.) The report tracked two hate crimes in Santa Barbara County: One was racially motivated, the otherhomophobic. However, the Santa Barbara Police Department also recorded three hate crimes in 2016 that were not included in the report. All were assaults on men perceived to be gay and took place near State Street in the late afternoon, between June and October. Notably, hate crimes against gay males increased statewide by 40.7 percent thatyear. In 2017 the Santa Barbara District Attorneys Office has already handled three hate crimes. On February 23, a white suspect threatened an Asian man while yelling racial slurs during a vehicle-related altercation. Two days later, at the PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) shelter, a white man threatened an African-American man. Then in April, a 19-year-old Isla Vista resident physically attacked a 63-year-old man while yelling homophobicremarks. In 2008, former President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, named after a gay teenager from Wyoming and an African-American man from Texas, respectively, both victims of brutal murders in 1998. The landmark legislation expanded the authority of the FBI to investigate hate crimesnationally. A special report published in June by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics found that more than half of all violent hate crimes went unreported between 2011 and 2015, based on an annual survey of 90,000 households. Humiliation, concern about retaliation, fear that their identity will be discovered, language barriers, and disabilities are factors that often silence victims and make it difficult to take an accurate pulse on hate crimes in our community, according to Cyndi Silverman, regional director of Santa Barbaras Anti-Defamation League(ADL). Silverman says shes witnessed a marked increase in hate incidents in the last year. Hate incidents, a term used by the ADL, differ from hate crimes in that they do not threaten anyones immediate physical safety but encourage a culture of discrimination and fear, such as when white supremacist posters were found along Cliff Drive near Santa Barbara CityCollege. National civil rights organizations have also reported a significant uptick over the past year, especially in the month immediately following the 2016 presidential election, during which the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked 1,094 incidents. Silverman explained: Theres been an environment in which people have felt empowered to say or do things they wouldnt have done before, that they would have kept under wraps. Maybe this was under the surface, but now its out. She added, Our bubble is not as perfect as wethink. Silverman and Brianna Moffitt, ADLs director of development, also reported xenophobic bullying on Santa Barbara school campuses, with kids telling other classmates to go back to your country. As a result, ADL is partnering with school districts and other groups throughout the tri-county area to host antibias trainings anddialogues. In May, the ADL also held the Together as One community summit, which was attended by about 160 community members ranging from 2 to 97 years of age. The event was designed to encourage dialogues despite differences and help participants identify and unlearn their own implicit biases. On October 29, the ADL will host a second Together as One event, which is free and open to the public. Register at santabarbara.adl.org/together/.

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Jack’d Adds GPS ‘Blurring Feature’ to Protect Gay Americans From Hate Crimes – Advocate.com

Jack’d has added a “blurring feature” to protect its American users from hate crimes. The tool obfuscates the exact location of a user so that others using the gay dating app cannot pinpoint his whereabouts although they can tell if he is nearby. It has previously been employed in antigay nations where this information could place queer people in peril. Thanks to hatred incited by the presidential election, that list now includes the United States. The blurring feature was originally created as a tool to protect gay menin countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt that have a history of violence against the gay community, confirmed Alon Rivel, the app’s director of global marketing, in a statement. Since the 2016 election, however, there has been a surge in bullying and hate crimes against the LGBTQ community in the U.S.,” he continued. “As a result, a growing number of gay men here want to increase their privacy and keep their locations private too. The U.S. election did indeed spark a surge in hate crimes and bullying targeting queer people. The Los Angeles Times reports that crimes against the city’s LGBT population increased by 24.5 percent in 2016. Even LGBT centers, as symbols of the community, have experienced an uptick in attacks and defacement. An arsonist who attacked a Phoenix LGBT center was arrested last weekend. The world will live in is still not LGBTQ tolerant and with 70 percent of our users being young millennials, we have to be proactive in protecting their privacy, said Rivel. In his speech at the Republican National Convention, President Trump vowed to be an ally of the LGBT community, leaving some to hope he might help quell antigay sentiment. However, Trump’s recent acts his silence on the attacks on gay and bi men in Chechnya, his announced intention to ban transgender troops from the U.S. military, and the Justice Department’s claim that the protections ofTitle VII of the Civil Rights Act do not cover gay people have had the opposite effect.

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August 2, 2017   Posted in: Hate Crimes  Comments Closed

‘I Only Wish I Could Exchange My Life for Another’ – Human Rights Watch

Anti-gay rights activists stand on a rainbow flag during a protest by gay rights activists demonstrating against a proposed new law termed by the State Duma, the lower house of Parliament, as “against advocating the rejection of traditional family values” in central Moscow June 11, 2013. Lilly, a transgender woman from Uzbekistan, traveled to northern Russia in 2015, in search of work, hoping to earn money for her transition. In December 2016, three men attacked her on the street, forced her into a car, and gang-raped her. They also filmed the rape and extorted money from Lilly by threatening to publish the video online. Police promptly arrested two of the perpetrators hours later. In May of this year, a court in Murmansk found the two men guilty of extortion with the use of violence and sentenced them to four years in prison. They were never charged with the rape the rape that changed Lillys life irretrievably. I only wish I could exchange my life for another,Lilly told me.But the court did recognize that the men targeted Lilly because of hate hatred for her gender identity a rare breakthrough in Russia. Hate attacks in 2010-2016 marked on Russias map red stands for killing; green stands for bodily harm. Its significant that hostility towards LGBT people was acknowledged as a motivating factor precisely because hate crimes are a serious issue in Russia, and something that the United Nations experts who monitor Russias compliance with the International Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) will examine in Geneva this week. It is a difficult task because Russian authorities dont compile hate crime data and have not been contributing to the OSCEs statistics on hate crimes, published annually by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). Nevertheless, independent monitors flag that the most frequent victims of hate attacks in Russia are non-Slavs, religious minorities, and LGBT people. In Moscow, Anastasia Denisova, of Russias leading migrant support group Civic AssistanceCommittee, runs the project hatecrimes.ru, which provides legal assistance to victims and, in the absence of official statistics, maps out hate crimes on an interactive map of Russia with the use of countrywide findings by SOVA-Center, an independent think tank. She told me that, in most cases when non-ethnic Russians are attacked, police begin by treating the victim as the guilty party and our lawyers have to work hard to make them realize who is the victim and who is the aggressor. Also, if a victim of a hate crime was also robbed, for instance, the authorities tend to launch a case on robbery, ignoring the hate motive. Russia should ensure that authorities systematically recognize hate motives in a crime as an aggravating circumstance and launch mandatory training programs for law enforcement officials and judiciary. The government should also list hate crimes as a separate category in criminal statistics to give the public a clear picture of the issues scope and resume its reporting on hate crimes to the OSCE as part of contributing to international efforts aimed at resolving the problem.

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hate crime | law | Britannica.com

Hate crime, harassment, intimidation, or physical violence that is motivated by a bias against characteristics of the victim considered integral to his social identity, such as his race, ethnicity, or religion. Some relatively broad hate-crime laws also include sexual orientation and mental or physical disability among the characteristics that define a hate crime. The concept of hate crime emerged in the United States in the late 1970s. By the end of the 20th century, laws mandating additional penalties for bias-motivated crimes had been passed by the federal government and by most U.S. states. (Unlike many broader state laws, the federal law allowed for the prosecution of hate crimes motivated only by the colour, race, religion, or national origin of the victim.) Increasingly, criminal conduct motivated by bigotry came to be regarded as substantially different from, and in some respects more pernicious than, other kinds of crime. Reflecting the politics of the issue as well as the actual incidence of bias-motivated crime, racial and religious minorities and women have been recognized in many statutes as potential victims of hate crime, whereas other groups, such as the elderly and children, have not. Laws intended to curb hate crimes have been implemented in several other Western countries. Australia, for example, has outlawed at the federal, state, and territory level words and images that incite hatred toward particular racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Relying on existing discrimination law, Australia has also prohibited conduct that constitutes vilification or racial hatred. Britain and Canada have passed laws designed to curb violence directed at minority groups, and Germany has forbidden public incitement and the instigation of racial hatred, including the distribution of Nazi propaganda or literature liable to corrupt the youth. Most legislation outside the United States, however, has taken a narrow view of hate crime, focusing primarily on racial, ethnic, and religious violence, and in most non-Western countries there are no hate-crime laws. Nevertheless, by the beginning of the 21st century, civil rights organizations around the world were applying the term hate crime broadly to describe bias crimes involving various characteristics used to differentiate social groups. Critics of hate-crime laws have argued that they are redundant because they create additional penalties for acts that are already punishable under criminal law. They also charge that such laws treat victims of different groups unequally and that they punish the thoughts of offenders rather than merely their actions. Defenders of hate-crime laws argue that hate crimes are fundamentally different in character from other types of violent crime, in part because they threaten the safety of entire groups of people; they also note that the thoughts of the offender are taken into account in the definitions of other violent crimes, such as first- and second-degree murder. Despite its controversial nature, various forms of hate-crime law in the United States have withstood constitutional challenge. In 2009 U.S. Pres. Barack Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The new legislation expanded the federal hate-crimes statute to include violent crimes motivated by disability, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. …and left to die. Shepards death, which was evidence of the physical danger that homosexuals still sometimes faced in the United States, became for the gay rights movement a symbol of the need for hate crime legislation. …(a Christian Identity-based hate group prominent in the late 20th century), and the Aryan Brotherhood (a group originating in San Quentin [California] prison). That association with racism, crime, hate crimes, and Nazism has given the word a powerful new negative sense. country in North America, a federal republic of 50 states. Besides the 48 conterminous states that occupy the middle latitudes of the continent, the United States includes the state of Alaska, at the northwestern extreme of North America, and the island state of Hawaii, in the mid-Pacific Ocean….

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Explaining the rise in hate crimes against Muslims in the US – Salon … – Salon

Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise. The murder of two samaritans for aiding two young women who were facing a barrage of anti-Muslim slurs on a Portland train is among the latest examples of brazen acts of anti-Islamic hatred. Earlier in 2017, a mosque in Victoria, Texas was burned to the ground by an alleged anti-Muslim bigot. And just last year, members of a small extremist group called The Crusaders plotted a bombing bloodbath at a residential housing complex for Somali-Muslim immigrants in Garden City, Kansas. I have analyzed hate crime for two decades at California State University-San Bernardinos Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. And I have found that the rhetoric politicians use after terrorist attacks is correlated closely to sharp increases and decreases in hate crimes. Hate crimes post 9/11 Since 1992 (following the promulgation of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990), the FBI has annually tabulated hate crime data voluntarily submitted from state and territorial reporting agencies. A hate crime is defined as a criminal offense motivated by either race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity. According to the FBIs data, hate crimes against Muslims reported to police surged immediately following the terror attacks of 9/11. There were 481 crimes reported against Muslims in 2001, up from 28 the year before. However, from 2002 until 2014, the number of anti-Muslim crimes receded to a numerical range between 105 to 160 annually. This number was still several times higher than their pre-9/11 levels. It should be noted that other government data, such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which relies on almost 200,000 residential crime surveys, as opposed to police reports, show severe official undercounting of hate crime. These studies, based on respondents answers to researchers, indicate a far higher annual average of hate crime 250,000 nationally with over half stating that they never reported such offenses to police. FBI data show that in 2015 there were 257 hate crimes against Muslims the highest level since 2001 and a surge of 67 percent over the previous year. As I noted in a prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May 2017, this was the second-highest number of anti-Muslim hate crimes since FBI record-keeping began in 1992. Not only did anti-Muslim crime cases rise numerically in 2015, they also grew as a percentage of all hate crime. They now account for 4.4 percent of all reported hate crime even though Muslims are estimated to be only 1 percent of the population. When do the spikes happen? At our center, we analyzed even more recent disturbing trends related to hate crimes. Based on the latest available police data for 2016 from 25 of the nations largest cities and counties, we found a 6 percent increase in all hate crimes, with over half of the places at a multi-year high. In particular, hate crimes against Muslims had increased in six of the seven places that provided more detailed breakdowns. We also observed a spike in such crime following certain events. In 2015, for example, we found 45 incidents of anti-Muslim crime in the United States in the four weeks following the November 13 Paris terror attack. Just under half of these occurred after December 2, when the San Bernardino terror attack took place. Of those, 15 took place in the five days following then-candidate Donald Trumps proposal of December 7, seeking to indefinitely ban all Muslims from entering the United States. In contrast, as I observed in my prepared statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, after an initial sharp spike following the 9/11 attacks, sociologist James Nolan and I found that there was a drop in hate crimes after President George W. Bush delivered a speech promoting tolerance on Sept. 17, 2001.Other groups too, have found similar spikes in anti-Muslim hatred: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), for example, noted that from the month of the presidential election, through Dec. 12, 2016, there was a spike in hate incidents against many minority groups. The SPLC found that the third most frequently targeted group after immigrants and African-Americans were Muslims. And just this month the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim advocacy group, reported 72 instances of harassment and 69 hate crimes that had occurred between April and June 2017. Fear of Muslims Prejudicial stereotypes that broadly paint Muslims in a negative light are quite pervasive. From 2002 to 2014, the number of respondents who stated that Islam was more likely to encourage violence doubled from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to Pew research. A June 2016 Reuters/Ipsos online poll found that 37 percent of Americans had a somewhat or very unfavorable view of Islam, topped only by antipathy for atheism at 38 percent. The latest polls also show how Muslims are feared and distrusted as a group in America. While most Americans do not believe that Muslims living in the U.S. support extremism, these views vary widely by age, level of education and partisan affiliation: Almost half of those 65 and older believe that Muslims in America support extremism, whereas only few college-educated adults do so. Interestingly, current polls also show that when people personally know someone who is a Muslim, the bias is much less. This confirms what psychology scholar Gordon Allport concludes in his seminal book, The Nature of Prejudice, that meaningful contact with those who are different is crucial for reducing hatred. Indeed, before we can truly say love thy neighbor(s), we need to know and understand them. Brian Levin, Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Director, Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, California State University San Bernardino

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#GoodMuslimBadMuslim hosts take on sex, hate crimes and Zayn Malik – ABC News

It all started with a joke. Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh met on a book tour for Love, InshAllah, a collection of stories by American Muslim women to which they contributed, and launched a running joke afterward on Twitter. We started going back and forth, and wed make fun of, you know, burka-bikinis, Next time, on the Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast, said Ahmed. And our followers were like, Where do we hear this podcast?” Ahmed, an activist and writer, and Noorbakhsh, a comedian and writer, decided to give their fans what they wanted. The monthly Good Muslim, Bad Muslim podcast launched in 2015. The pair have since been featured on NPR, Buzzfeed, Fusion, The New York Times, and have gained thousands of fans with their honest and unfiltered take on the highly-complicated yet incredibly-average issues faced by American Muslim women. Were not talking about hate crimes every episode, even though we do talk about hate crimes. And were not talking about sex in every episode, even though we do talk about sex, said Ahmed. The fact that were just two women having a normal conversation, the way women have conversations, is the political act. And thats really powerful. And I think its, for some reason, its unexpected, even though it shouldnt be unexpected. Episode topics range from ringtones and secret phobias to singer-songwriter Zayn Malik and Islamophobia. They talk about terrorist attacks and body waxing. Feminism and Sesame Street. Barbie dolls and politics. They talk about their families. Their love lives. Their fears, and hopes, and concerns. Their podcasts can feel like a conversation between two friends who talk about both the small and big things affecting their days and their lives offering an informative and thorough discussion for listeners benefit. The podcast title, Ahmed and Noorbakhsh say, is a nod to common but misguided labeling of American Muslims, both by fellow Muslims and non-Muslims. The variety of topics covered in the conversations and the fact that the two hosts often disagree is, they say, proof enough that there is no one “community” with which all followers of the faith in the U.S. need to identify. I have fatwad the use of the word ‘community.’ Im sick of it, said Noorbakhsh. I have talked to so many bigoted, conservative Muslims, Republican Muslims, Muslims who dont believe in reproductive rights, who dont believe in queer rights. Thats not my community. I dont connect with them. I think a big part of being the person that creates the media and gets attacked all the time, is to not read the hateful comments, said Ahmed. I dont think theyre listening. Theyre definitely not listening to our podcast So I dont hear it. Check out the full conversation on this weeks episode of “Uncomfortable.” Download and subscribe to the “Uncomfortable” podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and ABC News podcasts. Ahmed and Noorbakhsh were interviewed as part of a series called “Uncomfortable,” hosted by Amna Nawaz, that offers in-depth honest conversations with influential figures about issues dividing America.

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