Hate crimes against Muslims in Canada increase 253% over four years

By Amy Minsky
Global News | June 13, 2017

The number of police-reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in Canada more than tripled between 2012 and 2015, despite the overall number of such crimes decreasing over the same period, according to Statistics Canada data released Tuesday.

In 2015, police across the country recorded 159 hate crimes targeted at Muslims, up from 45 in 2012, representing an increase of 253 per cent.

In just one year, between 2014 and 2015, that number increased by 59 per cent: from 99 in 2014 to 159 the following year.

That trend seems set to continue, said Amira Elghawaby, the communications director with the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

“The data we’re collecting indicates a significant increase from this time last year already,” she said.

“I believe we’re already way outpacing the data that we have from 2016 and therefore 2015.”

Elghawaby’s organization collects its own data, which may deviate from the numbers collected at Statistics Canada. That said, the trend lines generally match up, she said.

. . .

Religious hate crimes increase

In 2015, police reported 469, or 35 per cent, of all hate crimes were motivated by the hatred of a religion, according to the report – that’s 40 more such incidents than the previous year, when they represented 33 per cent of all hate crimes.

“What we consistently have been seeing is an increased number, not only of anti-Muslim hate crimes, but also targeting the Jewish community and other marginalized communities,” said Elghawaby.

Although Jewish Canadians still experience the highest incidence of religion-related hate crimes, the number of incidents declined to 178 in 2015 from 213 the previous year, whereas crimes again Muslim Canadians increased.

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