(JNS.org) The release of the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA) report indicated a promising new trend in America, with overall hate crimes overall falling by 6 percent in 2011. However, despite the improvement, anti-Jewish hate crimes still remain disproportionately high, the report found.
According to the report, there were 6,222 hate crimes in the U.S. in 2011 with 1,480 religious hate crimes, down 3.4 percent from 2010. These incidents included offenses like vandalism, intimidation, assault, rape, murder, the FBI report said.
Of the 1,480 religious hate crimes, nearly two-thirds were anti-Jewish at 63.2 percent, with Islam a distant second at 12.5 percent and Catholicism next at 5.7 percent.
While the overall number of anti-Jewish hate crimes fell slightly from 887 in 2010 to 711, Jews are still overwhelmingly the victims of hate crimes compared to other religious groups.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the overall decline. However, the group expressed concern at the disproportionately high number of anti-Jewish attacks.
“It is also troubling that Jews and Jewish institutions continued to be principal targets, accounting for 63 percent of all religion-based hate crimes in 2011—showing, once again, that anti-Semitism is still a serious and deeply entrenched problem in America,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in a joint statement.
According to a 2010 Pew Research Center report, Jews comprise approximately 1.6 percent of the U.S. population, whereas Muslim account for 0.6 percent. The two largest religious affiliations in the U.S. are Evangelical Protestants and Catholics, at 26.3 percent and 23.9 percent, respectively.