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One in 5 hate crimes in US due to religious bias

world Updated: Dec 11, 2012 11:24 IST
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One in five hate crimes reported in the US in 2011 were due to religious bias, most of them stemming from anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic prejudice, while almost half of such crimes were racially-motivated, the FBI has said in its new data.

In 2011, US law enforcement agencies reported 6,222 hate crime incidents involving 7,254 offenses, according to the Hate Crime Statistics, 2011.

The statistics noted a slight drop of six % in the number of such cases in 2011 as compared to the previous year.

These incidents included offenses like vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape and murder, the FBI said.

Of the 6,222 reported hate crimes, 6,216 were single-bias incidents, 46.9% were racially motivated, 20.8% resulted from sexual orientation bias, 19.8% were motivated by religious bias, 11.6 stemmed from ethnicity / national origin bias, and 0.9 % were prompted by disability bias, the FBI said in its annual hate crime statistics report for the year 2011.

In 2011, law enforcement agencies reported that 3,465 single-bias hate crime offenses were racially motivated.

Of these offenses 72% were motivated by anti-black bias, 16.7% stemmed from anti-white bias, 4.8 % resulted from anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias, 4.7% were a result of bias against groups of individuals consisting of more than one race and 1.9% were motivated by bias against Native Indians.

Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,318 offenses reported by law enforcement.

A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-biased offenses showed 62.2% were anti-Jewish, 13.3% were anti-Islamic, 5.2% were anti-Catholic, 4.8% were anti-multiple religions, group, 3.7% were anti-Protestant, 0.3% were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/ and 10.5% were anti-other religion.

32% of the 6,222 hate crime incidents reported took place in or near residences 18% took place on highways, roads, and alleys and 9.3% took place at schools or colleges.

The remaining took place at houses of worship, parking lots, bars, government and office buildings among others.

According to the FBI, beginning 2013, law enforcement agencies reporting hate crimes will be able to get even more specific when reporting bias motivation.

While the new bias categories of gender and gender identity were added to the FBI's hate crime data collection, other bias types were modified to comply with the race and ethnicity designations specified by the US Office of Management and Budget.

Data submitted under these new specifications will be part of the UCR programme's new system.