by David J. Rusin
On April 15, 2013, Muslim terrorists murdered three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, prompting familiar warnings about an imminent anti-Muslim backlash. The FBI's findings are proof that such collective punishment did not materialize — as it almost never does.
The FBI's newly released hate crime statistics for 2013 offer a fresh example of how reality refuses to conform to the dubious narrative of widespread Muslim victimization at the hands of American bigots. As in previous years, most hate crimes were not religiously motivated, most religiously motivated hate crimes were anti-Jewish, and Muslims suffered fewer total incidents than many groups and fewer per capita than gays or Jews. Anti-Islamic crimes did not involve greater violence than others and have not become more frequent. A glance at the details:
Of the 5,928 incidents of hate crime tabulated in 2013, 135 (2.3 percent) were anti-Islamic, an increase of five over the prior year but still slightly below the annual average of 139 from 2002 to 2011.
The small rise in recorded anti-Islamic incidents could be
attributable to improved data collection rather than a true uptick.
Reports submitted by law enforcement agencies covered a population of
295 million Americans in 2013, 18.6 percent higher than in 2012.
There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.
Anti-Islamic incidents were also outnumbered
by those targeting blacks (1,856), whites (653), gay men (750),
lesbians (160), LGBTs in general (277), Hispanics (331), and people of
other ethnicities (324). Anti-Asian incidents (135) equaled anti-Islamic
Based on a 2013 estimate of 2.95 million Muslims derived from Pew's 2011 figure and typical growth of 100,000 per year, there were 4.6 anti-Islamic incidents per 100,000 Muslims in 2013, the same as 2012's rate and lower than the average of 6.0 per 100,000 for 2002–11. The 2013 rate for Muslims was less than half that for Jews (9.6 per 100,000 for a population of roughly 6.5 million) and homosexuals/bisexuals (11.0 per 100,000, assuming that they comprise 3.5 percent of the U.S. population). The rate for blacks was similar to that of Muslims (4.5 per 100,000 for a population of 41.6 million).
Anti-Islamic hate crimes were no more violent than others in 2013. Of the 6,933 offenses
spanning all hate crimes, 734 (10.6 percent) were aggravated assaults
and 1,720 (24.8 percent) were simple assaults. The 165 anti-Islamic
offenses mirrored this breakdown: 17 (10.3 percent) were aggravated
assaults and 41 (24.8 percent) were simple assaults. Further, none of
the five deaths in 2013 resulted from anti-Islamic hate crimes.
David J. Rusin
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