Muslims suffered highest rate of Islamophobic assaults and acts of intimidation since 9/11 last year

A shocking resurgence in anti-Islamic hate crimes last year saw assaults against Muslims increasing to the highest levels seen since 2001, a report has revealed.

The number of anti-Muslim intimidation crimes, in which people are threatened with bodily harm, also reached its highest level since the 9/11 attacks occurred. 

Anti-Islamic crimes in general increased by 67 per cent, and are more likely to target people rather than property, the report, compiled by the Pew Research Center from FBI data, says.

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The number of anti-Muslim assaults in 2015 almost matched those in 2001, according to the FBI. Anti-Muslim intimidation is also at its highest level since 2001

The number of anti-Muslim assaults in 2015 almost matched those in 2001, according to the FBI. Anti-Muslim intimidation is also at its highest level since 2001

In 2015, a total of 91 anti-Muslim assaults were reported to the FBI – an almost identical figure to 2001, when 93 were reported. In 2000, just 12 such crimes were logged.

The figures for anti-Muslim intimidation crimes also rose, to 120 – the most since 2001, when there were 296.  

In total there were 257 anti-Muslim hate-crime incidents in 2015, a 67 per cent increase on 2014.

Some of those incidents involved multiple crimes – in total there were 301 individual crimes logged, 71 per cent of which were against people, rather than property. 

That contrasts with crimes against other religious groups, which are more likely to favor property damage over attacks on people.

In 2015, for example, 64 per cent of anti-Jewish offenses and 51 per cent of anti-Catholic offenses were acts of vandalism. That composed just 23 per cent of anti-Muslim crimes.

The FBI collects its statistics from 15,000 voluntarily participating law enforcement agencies, which means that these figures may be lower than the actual number of incidents. 

The Pew report does not explain exactly why the incidents have increased, but there are points on the graph that do coincide with major political events.

For most of 2002-2008 includes, around 35 anti-Muslim assaults were recorded each year, save for 2006, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, when it spiked to 54.

The figure rose steadily from 2008, when Barack Obama took office amid right-wing rumors that he was a secret Muslim, but those stats capped at around 55 attacks per year from 2011-2014, inclusive.

It was only in 2015 that it spiked again, dramatically – something also noted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the University of California, which in June linked anti-Muslim sentiment to the rise of Donald Trump.

Anti-Muslim attacks have continued since 2015. On Monday Nicki Panchol a non-Muslim who wears scarves on her head to protect herself from the son, received abuse
Panchol wears scarves because she suffers from Lupus

Anti-Muslim attacks have continued since 2015. On Monday Nicki Panchol (pictured), a non-Muslim who wears scarves on her head to protect herself from the son, received abuse

Panchol, who needs her scarves because of Lupus, found her car windows smashed in and this message - 'Hijab wearing b***h. This is our nation now. Get the f**k out' - left in her vehicle

Panchol, who needs her scarves because of Lupus, found her car windows smashed in and this message – ‘Hijab wearing b***h. This is our nation now. Get the f**k out’ – left in her vehicle

They said that attacks on mosques increased from around 21 incidents per year in 2013 and 2014 to 78 incidents in 2015.

Trump announced he was running for office in 2015, and frequently used anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The FBI’s statistics for 2016 won’t be released until next year, but anti-Islamic incidents have continued to occur throughout the year.

The Southern Poverty Law center received 40 complaints of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the six days after the election.

One report, from Oregon, read: ‘A Muslim woman was riding the Max to Beaverton in the early afternoon and a group of teenagers went to the corner of the car where she was sitting and got up in her face yelling at her that she was a terrorist, that our new President was going to deport her, that she can’t wear her hijab anymore. 

‘They got increasingly menacing, and my friend went over and made them get off the train. When they were leaving through the door they tried to spit on her.’

And in just the past few days there have been two high-profile anti-Muslim incidents. 

On Wednesday a kindergarten teacher in North Carolina was suspended after being accused of repeatedly grabbing a child by the neck and calling him a ‘bad Muslim boy’.

And on Monday a non-Muslim hiker in San Francisco who wore a head scarf to protect herself from the sun found her car windows smashed and a note calling her a ‘Muslim b***h’.

A North Carolina teacher was accused Wednesday of grabbing a kindergartner by the neck and called him a 'bad Muslim boy' multiple times over several weeks

A North Carolina teacher was accused Wednesday of grabbing a kindergartner by the neck and called him a ‘bad Muslim boy’ multiple times over several weeks