Bittersweet News As Jews No Longer #1 Victims of US Hate Crimes
The New York Times reported today that as of 2014, Jews are no longer the number 1 target of hate crimes in the United States. That dubious honor now goes to the LGBT community. (NOTE: African-Americans still suffer the largest number of attacks, but given the much smaller numbers of the Jewish and LGBT communities, Jews and Gays suffer more attacks per capita.)
According to the FBI, in 2014 there were 1287 anti-LGBT offenses (all attacks based on sexual orientation and identity) and 635 offenses against Jews. In fact, the number of attacks against members of the LGBT community has actually been higher than attacks on Jews since 2001 but this hasn’t translated into a higher rate of attacks until more recently, at least according to the New York Times. It is possible that the discrepancies in defining who is a Jew and who is LGBT have thrown these numbers off in the past and Jews have actually been the second most likely to be victims of hate crimes for longer, but we’ll leave that issue to the professional demographers.
Another interesting fact brought to light by this article is that Muslims are now the third most likely to suffer from hate crimes, over taking African-Americans, with 178 recorded offenses in 2015. However, this is just 8 more attacks than were recorded against Muslims in 2002. That means that contrary to popular belief and the ravings of the media, given the increase in the Muslim American population, the rate of attacks against Muslims has actually slightly decreased over the last decade! (Muslims surpassed African-Americans mostly because of decline in the rate of offenses against the latter.)
Attacks on Muslims did show a dramatic increase after September 11, 2001. American Muslims were victims of 33 offenses in 2000 (the least likely religious group to be targeted other than atheists/agnostics), which jumped more than 5 times to 170 in 2002. That same year, there were 1039 offenses against Jews. So even after the number of attacks against Muslims more than quintupled, there were still more than 6 times as many attacks against Jews, a significant number even given the disparity in populations at the time.
Let’s be clear about something: none of this should be taken to excuse or, God forbid, justify attacks against Muslims or anyone else. The only reason I am bringing this up is to show that the current hysteria that has been raised regarding the “rising tide” of Islamophobia in America, simply isn’t backed up by facts. Attacks against Jews – while still the most number 1 victims of anti-religious attacks and second most likely per capita victims overall – have been trending down and attacks against Muslims have remained roughly the same over recent years, but we are wrongly being told that Muslims are suffering from a wave of discrimination and that Jews suffer from no discrimination at all when in fact the opposite is true.