Hate Crimes Against Muslims On The Rise, As Right-Wing Terror Organizations Thrive

The FBI released their annual Hate Crime Statistics Report this week. It shows that the number of hate crimes committed in 2014 fell for all minority groups — except Muslims. The number of anti-Muslim crimes rose by 14 percent in 2014.

FBI statistics on hate crimes have faced sharp criticism in recent years. This is due to the fact that hate crimes are woefully underreported in the United States. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown that there is a huge disparity in the number of hate crimes that are actually committed versus those that are reported.

However, it has been argued that despite those inadequacies, the FBI’s statistical reports are still valuable in seeing new trends emerge in the number of hate crimes that are being committed against particular groups. It has been speculated by the Southern Poverty Law Center that the rise in violence against Muslims in the United States is a result of the rise of the Islamic State.

The rise in hate crimes committed against Muslims is important to note, as it coincides with an increase in the number hate groups being formed in the United States, and an increase in the number of “lone wolf” terrorist attacks that are either committed or foiled by law enforcement in the United States. Many of these groups are based on strong anti-government leanings, and tend to be conspiracy-based organizations. Those groups, particularly those with religious leanings, have moved away from their history of attacking LGBT people and have begun to focus their energies attacking Muslims.

As terrible as these crimes are, they are still largely unorganized and are condemned by society at large. However, after the recent terror attacks in Paris, it appears that the United States is comfortable with an escalation of violence perpetuated against Muslims by the state. Donald Trump, the current front runner for the GOP presidential nomination, called for all Muslims to be listed in a registry.

Fortunately, Trump rescinded his plan after being condemned in the media. But if we look at the polls, Trump has not suffered from his calls to create a Muslim registry. Trump himself was not able to differentiate between his plan and Hitler’s racial and political identification programs.

As troubling as the idea of the creation of a state-run Muslim registry system is, the fact that such a registry already exists within the public sector already is even more worrying. Facebook and other social media sites have already identified their users according to their religion and every other identity that might be valuable to their advertisers.

If the idea to categorize individuals based on religion, or any metric for that matter, becomes more normalized, it would be no large feat for the U.S. government or other governments to demand that private registry. Given how much information is publicly shared across the internet, it would relatively easy for anyone to cobble together a database of users based on whatever metrics they are interested in.

It’s highly doubtful there is going to be a genocide carried out by our government. However, with the rise of terrorist hate groups in the United States, and their capability to identify what they view as targets through social media, a rise in a decentralized but unified movement to ethnically cleanse Muslims is far more probable than it may seem.

Featured Image Credit: By Dane Hillard [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons