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Hate Crimes Against Muslims In The US Increased Sharply In 2015

The latest FBI report on hate crimes in the US paints a grim picture for Muslim Americans.

Last updated on November 14, 2016, at 3:32 p.m. ET

Posted on November 14, 2016, at 1:44 p.m. ET

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

A candlelight vigil for three Muslim students shot dead by a white neighbor in North Carolina in February 2015

Hate crimes against Muslims in the US rose by 67% in 2015 in the second-highest annual percentage increase recorded since 1992, according to FBI statistics released Monday.

The year 2015 also saw the second-largest number of anti-Muslim incidents tracked by the FBI since the bureau began releasing hate crime statistics in 1992.

There were 257 recorded anti-Muslim incidents in 2015, compared with 154 in 2014, according to the FBI report.

Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes 2012–2015


The number of hate crimes against Muslims in the US remained fairly low throughout the 1990s, never exceeding 48 incidents in a single year.

In 2001, after the September 11 attacks, the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes jumped by 1,618% from the previous year, with 481 recorded hate crime incidents, compared with 28 in 2000.

Experts have attributed the 2015 increase to reactions to the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, as well as a sharp rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric during the presidential primaries.

Findings from a report from earlier this year by Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, a program dedicated to studying Islamophobia, almost mirrored the data released by the FBI. The report also found that in 2015 there were more “incidences of anti-Muslim violence and vandalism” than in any other year since Sept. 11, 2001.

According to a June report published by the Council on American–Islamic Relations, there were nearly four times as many attacks against mosques in 2015 compared with 2014.

Incident Of Hate Crimes By Religion


Anti-Jewish hate crimes continue to remain high annually, accounting for over 50% of all religious-based hate crimes. Anti-Jewish hate crimes were up by 9% from the previous year.

The annual hate crime statistics released by the FBI rely on data on recorded biased crimes submitted by 14,997 law enforcement agencies nationwide.

The report is broken down into six categories.

Hate Crime Incidents By Category


The "Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry" category accounts for the majority of all recorded hate crime incidents. Within this category, "Anti-Black or African American" hate crimes surpassed any other group by almost a factor of three.

The other recorded categories in the report are sexual orientation, disability, gender, and gender identity.

Read more of the FBI statistics here:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.