Hate crimes tear at the fabric of American communities and represent a stain on the country's soul, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at a mosque and Muslim community center on Monday.

Lynch spoke at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center as law enforcement across the country confronts a spike in hate crimes targeting Muslims.

Her speech at an interfaith gathering in the waning weeks of the Obama administration was intended to reaffirm the Justice Department's commitment to safeguarding civil rights and protecting racial and religious minorities.

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