Hate crimes against perceived Muslims, which jumped up 50% in 2010 largely as a result of anti-Muslim propagandizing, remained at relatively high levels last year, according to 2011 hate crime statistics released today by the FBI.
The bureau reported that there were 157 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2011, down slightly from the 160 recorded in 2010. The 2011 crimes occurred during a period when Islam-bashing propaganda, which initially took off in 2010, continued apace.
The FBI statistics, which are compilations of state numbers, are notoriously understated. Two Department of Justice studies have indicated that the real level of hate crimes in America is some 20-30 times the number reported in the FBI statistics, in part because some 56% of hate crimes are never reported to police and more than half of those that are are mischaracterized as non-hate crimes. Nevertheless, the FBI statistics can be used to get a sense of general trends.
Last year saw continued high levels of anti-Muslim propaganda such as the crusade by some against the alleged Muslim plan to impose religious Shariah law on the United States. There were a number of local battles over the construction of new mosques, and several were attacked by apparent Islamophobes.