2017 Hate Crime Data Reveals Stark Increase in Anti-Muslim Attacks

Expanded data released today shows some consideration for intersectionality and online hate; but NCCM says more work on these gaps is required.

(Ottawa – April 30, 2019) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) has reviewed today’s release of expanded data on police-reported hate crimes in 2017 by Statistics Canada. Short-release data from 2017 published in November last year showed a disturbing spike in hate crimes generally (47% increase), as well as for crimes specifically targeting Muslims (up 151%). Today’s expanded data includes further details on these increases, as well as more nuanced data on perpetrators, the gendered nature of hate crimes, the role of intersectionality in reporting, and the rise of online hate.

“This data, while deeply concerning, is unfortunately not surprising to us. 2017 was a significant year for Canadian Muslims, with the January 2017 Quebec mosque attack setting the tone for the intense months that followed. Indeed, the spikes seen in today’s Statistics Canada data closely mirrors data independently recorded by the NCCM through our online reporting system,” says Leila Nasr, NCCM Communications Coordinator.

“Today’s report also reaffirms anecdotal data captured by NCCM from victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes regarding non-reporting. Victims often tell us they do not want to report their experience to the police due to the fear that they will not be believed,” says Nasr.

“In recent years, NCCM has repeatedly called upon both police and Statistics Canada to better consider intersectionality and the role of online hate in reporting and data collection processes. Today’s report makes encouraging mentions of these two gaps in reporting, yet it is clear more information and in-depth study of these issues is needed in order to truly confront the challenges they pose to Muslim Canadians and other victims of hate crimes,” adds Nasr.

The NCCM is due to appear before the Standing Committee on Justice and Humans Rights studying Online Hate next Thursday, May 9th.

Key facts:

  • Police-reported hate crimes increased by 47% in 2017
  • Hate crimes targeting religious groups rose by 83% between 2016 and 2017
  • Hate crimes targeting Muslims more than doubled, increasing by 151%, and accounting for 17% of all 2017 police-reported hate crimes
  • Hate crimes targeting Muslims are highly gendered, with 44% of violent hate crimes targeting women and girls (in comparison to other hate crimes, in which female victims made up between 18% and 40% of victims)
  • Reasons for non-reporting of hate crimes were varied, including victims believing that their incident would not be considered important by police (64%), or that the accused would not be convicted or adequately punished (54%)

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

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