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November 16, 2015 4:09 pm

FBI Reports That Majority of ‘Religious Bias’ Crimes in US Last Year Were Against Jews

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Jews were targeted in 60 percent of last year's religion-based hate crimes, according to the FBI. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jews were targeted in nearly 60 percent of last year’s religion-based hate crimes, according to the FBI. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Jews and Jewish institutions were the target of a majority of last year’s religiously motivated crimes in the US, according to an FBI report released on Monday.

According to the FBI, 58.2 percent of “religious bias” crimes recorded in 2014 were against Jews and Jewish institutions.

The 2014 FBI Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) stated that hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,092 offenses reported by law enforcement officials last year. The majority was anti-Jewish, followed by 16.3% anti-Islamic and 6.1% anti-Catholic.

The report also documented that for the second year in a row, there is a decrease in the total number of reported hate crimes in the US. The 5,479 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2014 went down from the 5,928 hate crimes reported in 2013. Last year’s figure is the lowest number of hate crimes recorded since 1991, the first year data was collected by the FBI.

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Marvin D. Nathan, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League, and ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a joint statement that the number of religion-based crimes against Jews and Jewish sites is “deeply disturbing.” They added, “It shows that Jews in the US continue to be targeted for hate crimes at a disturbingly hate rate.”

Nathan and Greenblatt also called for more government and community action to address the fact that more than 100 cities with a population of over 100,000 either reported zero hate crimes or ignored the FBI’s request for their 2014 data.

“While it is possible that a large city would not experience a hate crime in a calendar year, serial zero reporting raises doubts about a department’s training to identify these crimes – and readiness to address them,” they said in their statement. “The significant number of zero-reporting and non-participating police agencies across the country calls this welcome decrease in reported hate crimes into question.”

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