Islamist pressure groups have spent years pushing the meme that Muslims in America face ever-increasing violence at the hands of their fellow citizens, but new statistics on hate crimes reported to the FBI once again undermine such claims.
Just-released data covering 2009 (summarized in this important table) include 107 anti-Islamic hate crime incidents against persons and property, involving 128 offenses and 132 victims. These numbers are a hair above the post-9/11 lows of 2008 (105 incidents, 123 offenses, and 130 victims). Anti-Islamic hate crimes have been falling steadily for a decade, with 2009 figures down more than three-quarters from the 2001 spike.
A closer examination of what took place in 2009 adds valuable perspective:
Incidents of hate crime driven by anti-Jewish bias (931) were 8.7 times as numerous as those driven by anti-Islamic bias.
Incidents of anti-Islamic hate crime were dwarfed not only by anti-black incidents (2,284), but also by anti-white incidents (545).
There were nearly as many anti-Christian hate crimes (89 anti-Catholic and anti-Protestant incidents) as anti-Islamic hate crimes.
There were more hate crimes motivated by bias against "other religion" (109 incidents) than by bias against Islam.
People were killed ("murder and nonnegligent manslaughter") for being black, white, Native American, Hispanic, and gay, but nobody was killed for being Muslim.
More remarkably, recall that 2009 was no ordinary year, based on how domestic jihad burst onto the scene. In addition to the Fort Hood massacre and the shooting of soldiers in Little Rock — neither of which is designated as a hate crime — the country endured the Bronx synagogues plot, the arrest of the North Carolina jihad cell, the New York City subways plot, attempts to blow up buildings in Texas and Illinois, the Massachusetts shopping malls plot, and so forth. As all were perpetrated by Muslims, angry Americans could have found plenty of excuses to lash out. Did they? No. What an incredibly tolerant nation the United States is.
But surely this does not remain the case in 2010, given the anti-mosque blowback and ugly crimes such as the cabbie slashing, right? Not so fast. First, the media spotlight often distorts reality. Second, MSNBC noted in August that New York City, the epicenter of recent tensions, "has not seen a change in the number of hate crimes reported by Muslims so far this year," according to an FBI agent. Third, official figures for 2010 will not be available until late 2011.
Of course, Islamists will keep singing the same old song, regardless of the actual data.