The number of reported hate crimes against Muslims surged by nearly 70 percent in 2015, contributing in part to a 6.7 percent increase in all hate crimes reported to police that year.
An FBI report released Nov. 14 revealed that there were 257 anti-Muslim incidents in 2015, compared to 184 the previous year, reflecting the second highest surge in hate crimes since anti-Muslim acts have been tracked, reports The Huffington Post. The only year showing a higher number of actions targeting the demographic was 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That year, anti-Muslim attacks peaked at 481. Since then, hate crimes against the demographic have stayed between 105 and 160 until 2015, when they accounted for 4.4 percent of all reported hate crimes in the nation.
Crimes targeting specific religions, including Islam, accounted for 21.3 percent of all recorded hate crimes. Among those incidents, Jewish people were the most frequently targeted, as anti-Jewish crimes comprised of 53.3 percent of religious hate crime and 11.4 percent of all hate crime, rising 9 percent since 2014. Of all religiously-motivated hate crimes, 20.7 percent were anti-Muslim and 4.3 percent were anti-Catholic.
The majority of the year's hate crimes were racially-motivated, with 56.6 percent -- 3,310 incidents -- committed for racial reasons. Of those crimes, 52.7 percent were anti-black and 18.5 percent were anti-white. Hate crimes against blacks -- who make up 13 percent of the country's total population -- increased 7.7 percent to 1,745 that year, accounting for 29.8 percent of all hate crimes.
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There were 299 anti-Latino hate crimes in 2015, which is similar to the number of incidents in 2014, while anti-Asian hate crimes declined 21 percent, from 140 in 2014 to 111 in 2015.
Hate crimes against sexual orientations decreased by 3.4 percent, making up 18 percent of total hate crimes. However, within that percentage, anti-transgender hate crime increased by 16.3 percent, with 114 incidents targeting the demographic.
Some Americans expect the number of hate crimes to increase even further in 2016, with the divisive presidential election culminating in hostility on both sides between supporters and opponents of President-elect Donald Trump, notes CNN. Since Election Day on Nov. 8, more than 300 hate-fueled incidents have been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center alone.
"If it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it," Trump told said on an episode of CBS' "60 Minutes," according to CNN.