Everybody is aware that the number of “hate crimes” against Muslims is on the rise — we all know it because the “fact” is constantly repeated in the media. Islamophobia in North America and Europe is said to be increasing, bringing a concomitant increase in physical attacks, threats, intimidation, and insults against Muslims.
Whenever one traces these assertions back to their original source, they inevitably derive from press releases, publications, or talking-head statements put out by CAIR, ISNA, the MCB, the OIC, or some other Muslim pressure group. In other words, our media are relying on the Muslim Brotherhood for information about how Westerners treat Muslims.
As one might expect, when the real statistics for such crimes — drawn from law enforcement sources — are closely investigated, they turn out to be completely untrue. In the United States, for example, hate crimes against Jews are six times as high as those against Muslims. In Europe, on a per-capita basis, the situation is similar — and, ironically enough, most hate crimes against Jews in Europe are committed by Muslims.
The whole “hate crime” scam has been a successful taqiyya operation and a huge propaganda victory for the worldwide agents of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Center for Security Policy has researched the incidence of hate crimes in the United States and drawn some conclusions about the results, which have now been collected in a white paper. According to the CSP press release:
New Study on Hate Crimes against Muslims Contradicts Claims of Islamophobia in America
Washington, DC, March 9, 2011 — The Center for Security Policy today released a groundbreaking longitudinal study, Religious Bias Crimes against Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims: American Trends from 2000-2009, based on statistics reported by the FBI. The study contradicts the false assertions that hate crimes against Muslims have increased, and that the alleged cause is widespread “Islamophobia” in America. In fact, the study shows that hate crimes against Muslim Americans, measured by the categories of incidents, offenses or victims, have remained relatively low with a downward trend since 2001.
For example, in 2009, Jewish victims of hate crimes outnumbered Muslim victims by more than 8 to 1 (1,132 Jewish victims to 132 Muslim victims). From 2000 through 2009, for every one hate crime incident against a Muslim, there were six hate crime incidents against Jewish victims (1,580 Muslim incidents versus 9,692 Jewish incidents). Even in 2001, total anti-Muslim incidents, offenses and victims remained approximately half of the corresponding anti-Jewish totals.
The study provides hard data that disproves the counter-factual statements made by a small number of highly vocal Muslim lobbying groups, many linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as leftwing activists. Citing these false assumptions concerning America’s alleged “Islamophobia” and a supposed rising trend in hate crimes against Muslim Americans, these organizations have argued against the March 10, 2011 House Committee on Homeland Security hearings on Muslim American radicalization. The study shows that these arguments against the hearings are not based on facts, but rather on a political agenda.
Frank Gaffney, President of Center for Security Policy remarked:
This report is important because it exposes a false belief perpetuated by a few vocal groups that religious bias crimes against Muslims are on the upswing. The truth is quite the opposite. These arguments, unsubstantiated by hard factual data, are corrosive to community relationships at every level of American society, and a potential threat to national security.
The full text of the white paper, and accompanying excel tables and charts, can be found at www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.
For more information and to schedule an interview, contact
Below are some excerpts from the full report:
Religious Bias Crimes against Muslim, Jewish and Christian Victims: American Trends from 2000-2009
Clare M. Lopez, Roland Peer & Christine Brim
Misperceptions about religious bias hate crimes in America are widespread. This study is a longitudinal comparison of religious bias hate crimes, as reported by the FBI, from the pre-9/11 year of 2000 through 2009, the most recent year for which statistics were available. The assertion that religious bias hate crimes against one group in particular, Muslims in America, have proliferated in the years since the attacks of September 11, 2001 has gained acceptance within media and government, thanks to a steady drumbeat of assertions to this effect from a small but vocal group of advocacy organizations.
Internationally, the most aggressive of these is the 57 member state Organization of the Islamic Conference, with its so-called “Islamophobia Observatory.” In the U.S., the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have taken the lead in issuing claims that discrimination and religious bias hate crimes against Muslims are increasing. These organizations have also asserted that “Islamophobia” and statements critical of Islam, Shariah law, or political Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood may be linked to the alleged rise in hate crimes. Alternatively, counterterrorism expert Steve Emerson has suggested “In advancing the notion that government policy has resulted in an undeserved backlash against ordinary Muslims, CAIR seeks to muster opposition to the anti-terror laws it finds objectionable.”
To inform this public debate about religious bias hate crimes in America, the Center for Security Policy analyzed data from 2000 through 2009 for three FBI-identified victim groups: Jews, Muslims, and Christians (a combined statistic for the purposes of this whitepaper, combining separate FBI data for Catholics and Protestants). The source of all the religion bias crimes information cited in the following report is the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which collects crime statistics on an annual basis and presents them online. Appendices B-T at the end of this report present those official FBI statistics in tables and charts showing the comparative incidence of religious hate crimes for Christians, Jews, and Muslims from 2000-2009.
The results may prove surprising to those who took CAIR or MPAC spokesmen at their word. For example, in 2009, in totals for a combined five categories of hate crime, from Simple Assault to Crimes Against Property, Jewish victims of hate crimes by religion outnumbered Muslim victims by more than 8 to 1 (1,132 Jewish victims to 132 Muslim victims). Nor is 2009 an anomalous year in terms of these numbers. Across the decade, from 2000 through 2009, Jewish victims of hate crimes by religion outnumbered their Christian and Muslim counterparts, with the exception of a nine-week period following the 9/11 terrorist acts for two categories of bias crimes: simple and aggravated assaults statistics. From 2000 through 2009, for every one hate crime incident against a Muslim, there were six hate crime incidents against Jewish victims (1,580 Muslim incidents versus 9,692 Jewish incidents).
The Center for Security Policy presents this study to inform the dialogue surrounding religious bias crimes in the U.S. and to provide a fact-based resource that analysts, researchers, and citizens can use for a reality check.
Although a number of European academics and institutes (particularly the British) have produced studies on the general topic of “Islamophobia” in the years since the attacks of September 11, 2001, few Americans have tackled “hate crimes” from the objective perspective of a neutral academic and empirical study based on the available FBI statistics. Two studies are representative, though unlike our study, neither is a longitudinal study encompassing a ten-year period.
Scholarly research in the area of hate crimes is increasingly a popular area for specialization, as witnessed by the Journal of Hate Studies, celebrating its 8th Volume in 2010. A useful short review of the field’s scope — though unfortunately not addressing a longitudinal analysis nor the FBI data — can be found in Barbara Perry’s essay, “The more things change…post-9/11 trends in hate crime scholarship,” a summary of the various disciplines’ research addressing the issue of hate.
Methodology and Findings
The “Religious Bias Crimes in America” study is a longitudinal look at the instances of religious bias crimes, also known as hate crimes, against Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the United States from 2000 to 2009. The use of the term “Hate Crime” is defined by the FBI in its 1996 Training Guide for Hate Crime Data Collection as well as in its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which find their authorization in the April 23, 1990 “Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990.” This legislation requires the U.S. Department of Justice to compile and publish an annual summary of data about crimes that “manifest prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” This study focuses on those hate crimes that clearly demonstrate prejudice based on bias against Christians (Catholics and Protestants combined), Jews and Muslims, as identified by the FBI. Three other categories of religious bias crime for which the FBI collects statistics, but which were not included in this study because they are less specific for purposes of comparison are: anti-other religion, anti-multi-religious group, and anti-atheism-agnosticism.
The Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines define a bias crime:
A criminal offense committed against a person or property which is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin; also known as Hate Crime.
Definitions of the various offenses against person and property are also provided in the Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines.
Three broad categories of religious hate crimes are included in this study: incidents, offenses, and victims. A single incident may include more than one offense (for example, intimidation and robbery). An offense may have more than one victim. A victim may be the target of more than one offense. Data categories for offenses and victims are sub-divided between crimes against persons, and crimes against property. Each of these sub-categories is further broken down by specific types of crimes. For example, crimes against persons include 1) murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, 2) forcible rape, 3) simple assault, 4) aggravated assault, 5) intimidation (by far the largest crimes against persons category), and 6) other. Crimes against property include 1) robbery, 2) burglary, 3) larceny/theft, 4) motor vehicle theft, 5) arson, 6) destruction/damage/vandalism (by far the largest crimes against property category), and 7) other. A third category, crimes against society, (at the same hierarchical level as crimes against persons, and crimes against property) presented only insignificant numbers for all three religions in the study (19 victims for all three religious groups from all ten years combined — see Appendix C, Table 2).
While there has been a slight variation through the years, anti-Jewish hate crimes have hovered around 70% of total anti-religious hate crime, while anti-Muslim violence has accounted for around 10%, and anti-Christian hate crime has totaled slightly less than 10%. Jewish and Muslim populations in America, as noted previously, each are estimated at 6 million persons (with an alternate estimate by Pew for the Muslim population). There was an increase in anti-Muslim violence in 2001 (exceeding both Jewish and Christian rates for simple and aggravated assault), which decreased to the 10% range in 2002, where it has remained (a temporary smaller spike was seen in 2006 against both Jewish and Muslim victims). Even in the anomalous year of 2001, total anti-Muslim incidents, offenses, and number of victims were approximately half of the corresponding anti-Jewish totals (Muslim Incidents — 481, Victims — 546, Offenses — 554; Jewish Incidents — 1043, Victims — 1117, Offenses — 1196). That the terrorist attacks occurred relatively late in the year — in September of 2001 — suggests that the increase in anti-Muslim violence occurred over a period of a few weeks, or more specifically nine weeks as noted in Kaplan’s study. Looking at total numbers of victims over the 2000-2009 period, for every Muslim victim from 2000 to 2009, there have been over six (6.13) Jewish incidents of hate crimes. As noted previously, in 2009 the ratio increased: for every Muslim victim, there were even more — over 8 — Jewish victims.
The Facts Contradict the Myths
These findings seem to contradict the popular perception that Muslims face more discrimination than Jews in the United States. For example, a Pew poll conducted in 2009 found that 58% of Americans believe there is “a lot of discrimination against” Muslims, opposed to 35% who thought the same for Jews. FBI statistics do show a lower percentage of anti-Jewish hate crimes have identified offenders, which may contribute to the misperception that anti-Jewish hate crimes in the United States are not as prevalent as they really are. Of total known offenders from the period of 2000 to 2009, 56% committed anti-Jewish hate crimes; the number rises to 67% when unknown offenders are included.
Hate Crime Rhetoric
Concerns about a backlash against Muslims in America arose in the aftermath of 9/11 and were given added impetus by books, studies, and other publications and statements by various organizations and Muslim leadership figures and groups. The November 2002 report by Human Rights Watch, “We Are Not the Enemy: Hate Crimes Against Arabs, Muslims, and Those Perceived to be Arab or Muslim after September 11” is representative of the genre. Citing a “severe wave of backlash violence” involving “more than two thousand September 11-related backlash incidents” against Arabs and Muslims in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, the report claims such people were targeted “solely because they shared or were perceived as sharing the national background or religion of the hijackers and al-Qaeda members deemed responsible for attacking the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.” Although the report goes on to claim that “comprehensive and reliable national statistics are not available,” this study cites the readily-available official FBI statistics that indeed do show a spike from 28 to 481 total hate crimes against Muslims between the years 2000 and 2001; however, according to the FBI figures, even that high mark is exceeded by a factor of two for the typical annual total of hate crimes against Jews in America.
Then there is the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which styles itself an organization “that challenges stereotypes of Islam and Muslims” and a “Washington-based Islamic advocacy group” dedicated to challenging “anti-Muslim discrimination nationwide.” The CAIR website includes an extensive section on “Islamophobia,” a term reportedly coined by the Muslim Brotherhood front group, the International Islamic Institute of Thought (IIIT), in an effort to find a concept useful in beating back critics of Islamic law (shariah) and jihad.
CAIR traces the phenomenon of “Islamophobia” to writing by Samuel Huntington in the 1990s that posited a coming “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West. CAIR claims that “when 9/11 happened,” those already prejudiced against Islam were influenced by “right wing outlets” and “pro-Israeli commentators such as Daniel Pipes, Steven Emerson, Judith Miller, and Bernard Lewis” to amplify an atmosphere of “extreme prejudice, suspicion, and fear against Muslims.” Deftly sidestepping the historical record of decades of international terror attacks perpetrated by Muslim jihadis well before 9/11, in addition to centuries of shariah-inspired jihad that preceded the current one, CAIR’s Islamophobia page cites a number of surveys conducted in the years following 2001 that indicate Americans believe Islam encourages violence, does not teach respect for the beliefs of non-Muslims, or that mosques ought to be monitored by U.S. law enforcement officials. Americans’ entirely rational concerns about jihadist attacks and the encroachment of shariah on American society are then described not only as the font of “discrimination, exclusion, and violence” against Muslims (without citing any official statistics to substantiate the accusation), but the naturally-to-be-expected source of Muslims’ own “disillusionment, social disorder, and….irrational violence.” [Emphasis added]
Slander, Blasphemy, and Insult to Islam in Shariah
It is imperative that western societies like ours understand the serious implications within Islamic law for accusations of insult to Islam, Islamic doctrine, or Muslims. Under shariah, the offense of slander is defined very differently than in U.S. law. According to the ‘Umdat al-Salik (or Reliance of the Traveller), a book of Islamic law that carries the imprimatur of Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the global seat of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, Slander “means to mention anything concerning a person [a Muslim] that he would dislike…” Several pages later, a further explanation is provided: “A person should not speak of anything he notices about people besides that which benefits a Muslim to relate or prevents disobedience.” Under Islamic law, truth is no defense against an accusation of slander and the offense is held to be a Hudud crime, one deserving the harshest punishment.
Even more serious than Slander under Islamic law is the offense of Blasphemy. The Muslim authorities hold Blasphemy to be insulting or abusing that which is held sacred in Islam. This can include anything from cursing Allah or the prophet Muhammad to irreverent behavior towards Islamic religious beliefs or customs. Even expressing opinions about Islam considered at variance with normative beliefs can be construed as blasphemy under this extremely subjective definition. Not only Muslims traditionally have been held accountable under the Islamic blasphemy laws, but also non-Muslims, especially dhimmis (conquered, subjugated People of the Book, i.e., Christians and Jews). “Reviling Muslims” or “Harming the Friends of Allah Most High” are considered serious sins, termed “Enormities”. Such offenses are described in Islamic law as those that entail either a threat of punishment in the hereafter, a prescribed Hadd punishment, or being accursed by Allah or the prophet Muhammad.
Islamic laws on Blasphemy and Slander should not be considered outmoded or an irrelevant remnant of the 7th century: they remain very much in effect in modern times, as the following excerpt from the authoritative Malaysian scholar Mohammad Hashim Kamali’s 1997 essay, “ Freedom of Expression in Islam “, makes clear:
“However, a general observation which should be made here is that in matters which pertain to the dogma of Islam, or those which are regulated by the direct authority of the Qur’an or Sunnah, criticism, either from Muslims or non-Muslims, will not be entertained, as personal or public opinion does not command authority in such matters. Islam is basically a religion of authority, and the values of good and evil, or rights and duties are not determined by reference to public opinion, or popular vote…” [Emphasis added]
It might be added that Dr. Kamali, who was a Professor of Islamic Law and Jurisprudence at the International Islamic University Malaysia and also Dean of the International Institute of Islamic Thought & Civilization (ISTAC) from 1985 — 2007, and is currently Chairman and CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies, Malaysia, is considered not only a leading international academic authority on Islam, but a “moderate Muslim.” He was on the advisory group for Imam Feisal Rauf’s “Shariah Index Project” and is a listed expert at the purportedly moderate organization World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE).
The deadly intent of the shariah laws on Blasphemy and Slander repeatedly has been demonstrated in recent times: among examples which could be cited are the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against the novelist Salman Rushdie, the 2004 murder of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, and Anwar al-Awlaki’s 2010 fatwa against the Washington state journalist Molly Norris (who was forced into permanent hiding for jesting online about an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”). The consequences, therefore, of being accused by a Muslim of offending Islamic beliefs, customs, or laws should not be underestimated. The developing concept of “Islamophobia” obviously is heading in this direction.
Perceptions about the prevalence of hate crimes against Muslims matter, especially when considered in the context of Islamic law (shariah), which criminalizes insults to Islam as “slander” or even “blasphemy.” A false belief, perpetuated by a few vocal groups, that deliberate religious bias crimes against Muslims are increasing regardless of the lack of support by hard factual data, is corrosive to community relationships at every level of American society, and a potential threat to First Amendment free speech rights and national security. Efforts at the international level, especially by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), to define any questioning of Islamic doctrine as “hate speech” leading to “hate crimes”, such as “Islamophobia” and as a “human rights violation” by way of official resolutions at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), directly create the premise for criminalization of free speech. Further, although non-binding at this time, such UNHRC resolutions conceivably could legitimize an eventual casus belli, by which an appropriate fatwa could declare justification for violent defensive jihad by the forces of Islam. As recently as March 7 2011, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute, formerly with the Democratic National Committee, wrote of critics of the Shariah law and Islamic terrorism in America, that:
If these ‘professional bigots” have provided the grist, the mill itself was run by the vast network of rightwing talk radio and TV shows and websites and prominent preachers, who have combined to amplify the anti-Muslim message nationwide. Their efforts have done real damage. They have tormented descent [sic] public servants, created protests that have shuttered legitimate institutions, fomented hate crimes and produced fear in the Muslim community.
The persistence, scope, and sophistication of the campaign to portray Muslims in America inaccurately, as making up the majority of “hate crime” victims, points to an organized effort whose potential implications derive from Islamic law (shariah). Insult towards Islam, Islamic doctrine, and individual Muslims, especially by non-Muslim infidels, can carry serious penalties under Shariah law. Further, because the “crimes” of insult, slander, and blasphemy are so subjectively defined in shariah, the doorway is wide open for those with an agenda of victimology to lay a foundation that not inconceivably could lead ultimately to a declaration of “defensive jihad” against persons, property or the broader community. “Homegrown” jihadist terrorism can find its motivation as part of the radicalization process in this heightened, and counter-factual, sense of victimization that justifies organized or “lone wolf” acts of jihad that are rationalized as defensive.
Read the rest — including more text, plus tables, charts, and footnotes — at www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org. A pdf of the same report may be downloaded from the same location.