Volunteers from a local monument company help to reset vandalized headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on February 22 in University City, Missouri. Since the beginning of the year, there has been a nationwide spike in incidents including bomb threats at Jewish community centers and reports of anti-semitic graffiti.

Volunteers from a local monument company help to reset vandalized headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery on February 22 in University City, Missouri. Since the beginning of the year, there has been a nationwide spike in incidents including bomb threats at Jewish community centers and reports of anti-semitic graffiti.

America has long celebrated the nation’s rich heritage of religious freedom. But recently, this First Amendment right has come under attack. For the first time — and after some pressure — President Trump earlier this week addressed the surge in anti-Semitic attacks across the country. The latest FBI statistics also show hate crimes against Muslims growing by more sixty per cent.

So what’s behind this spike in hate crimes? And is enough being done about it?

Guests

  • Imam Yahya Hendi Director of Muslim Life, Office of Campus Ministry, Georgetown University.
  • Rabbi Shira Stutman Senior Rabbi, 6th and I Synagogue in Washington DC.
  • Corey Saylor Director, Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
  • Jake Turx White House Correspondent, Ami Magazine, an orthodox Jewish publication
  • Deborah Lauter Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs, Anti-Defamation League.

Statistics

The FBI’s definition of a hate crime is any “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

The latest FBI hate crime stats are for the year 2015. That year, the FBI found:

  • A total of over 5,850 hate crimes were reported in 2015
  • Just over 21 percent were based on religion
  • Most of those targeted Jewish people, marking a 9 percent increase since 2014
  • The number of attacks on Mulsim-Americans was up 67 percent

Reports of hate crimes and threats have picked up in recent months. But without new FBI numbers, it’s hard to tie precise data on the reports of increasing anti-Semitic crimes like the desecration of 170 graves in a Jewish Cemetery in Missouri and other threats based on religion or race. But some data does exist.

  • The AP reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center “counted 1,094 bias-related incidents in the month following Trump’s November election victory, including 33 against Jews, 108 involving swastikas and 47 white nationalist fliers.”
  • Also from the AP: “New York City police keep a running tab of hate crimes. As of Sunday, 31 hate crimes have been reported against Jewish people this year — more than double compared to the same period of 2016.”
  • The Atlantic reports that the national Jewish Community Center has counted threatening calls “to 53 JCCs in 26 states in the last two months.”
  • A report the Anti-Defamation League released in October found that on Twitter “at least 800 journalists received anti-Semitic tweets with an estimated reach of 45 million impressions. The top 10 most targeted journalists (all of whom are Jewish) received 83 percent of these anti-Semitic tweets.”

With the increased reporting of incidents, it’s inevitable that additional data will be coming soon, likely with an eye toward determining whether the election influenced actions, or how tolerant Americans are of those who are not like them. A 2014 Pew Research study looked at how people from various religious groups felt about members of other groups:Religious Groups' Ratings of Each Other

How this data evolves will also be something to watch in the coming months.

Context And Commentary From Twitter

Topics + Tags

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows