Posted on December 1, 2010

FBI: Hate Crimes and Anti-Religious Offenses Declined in 2009

David Gibson, Politics Daily, November 26, 2010

The FBI says the number of reported hate crimes dropped significantly in 2009 from the previous year, to their lowest point in more than 15 years, despite the deepening recession and growing social tensions. {snip}

Whether that downward trend–and the proportionally low number of anti-Muslim incidents–continued into 2010 will only come to light in next year’s report. Given the supercharged political atmosphere that marked this election year, and flashpoints like the so-called ground zero mosque controversy and the Koran-burning threats that sparked numerous attacks on Muslims, the numbers could spike.

But for now, religious groups are giving thanks for the decline, even if they have no clear explanations for the drop.

The FBI report shows that there were 6,598 single-bias incidents in 2009, with nearly half motivated by racial bias. The second-highest total was the 1,303 incidents motivated by religious bias, accounting for just under 20 percent of all hate crimes. Overall, the numbers represent a drop of 15 percent in all hate crimes to the lowest number reported since 1994, outstripping the 5.5 percent decline in violent crime in 2009 and the 4.9 percent drop in property crimes.


Studies have found no clear correlation between economic downturns and hate crimes, as many tend to believe should be the case. {snip}