Data Tracker

Anti-Muslim hate crimes in California rose in 2015 to highest point since 9/11

By Phillip Reese - preese@sacbee.com

Sacramento Muslims from throughout the region, including Javaid Iqbal, center, of American Muslim Voice Foundation, hold a peace rally on the west steps of the state Capitol on Friday, January 9.
Sacramento Muslims from throughout the region, including Javaid Iqbal, center, of American Muslim Voice Foundation, hold a peace rally on the west steps of the state Capitol on Friday, January 9. rpench@sacbee.com

Reported hate crimes against Muslims rose more than 50 percent from 2014 to 2015 in California, mirroring a national trend, according to the California Department of Justice.

The increase corresponded with a series of terrorist attacks worldwide committed by Muslims, including the Charlie Hebdo shooting, the November Paris attacks and, in California, a San Bernardino shooting perpetrated by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik that killed 14 and injured 22. It also coincided with a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment online, particularly from some of those identifying with the "alt-right" movement. Additionally, Donald Trump in late 2015 called for a ban on Muslims from entering the United States.

Police took reports of 40 hate crimes against Muslims in 2015, up from 18 in 2014. Those 40 crimes involved 51 victims, including a mosque in Tracy that was firebombed, an Islamic Center in Los Angeles targeted by a man with hundreds of explosives found in his home and an assault on a pregnant Muslim woman pushing a stroller in Mission Valley.

​Reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in California remain less frequent than hate crimes ​reported ​against blacks, Latinos, Jews and homosexuals, but they are much more frequent than reported hate crimes against Christians.

  Comments