A supporter waves American and Indian flags in Times Square to watch a speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cast on a giant screen in New York in September 2014. | Reuters

In December, the Federal Bureau of Investigation released Hate Crime Statistics for 2021, an annual compilation of bias-motivated incidents in the United States.

The numbers are telling, with most incidents being driven by bias against black people while in case of religion, anti-Jewish attacks accounted for the most followed by anti-Islamic incidents.

The report states this clearly:

“According to this year’s data, 64.8% of victims were targeted because of the offenders’ bias toward race/ethnicity/ancestry…Anti-Black or African American hate crimes continue to be the largest bias incident category, with 63.2% of all single-bias incidents in 2021. Additionally, anti-Asian incidents represented 4.3% of incidents reported in 2021.”

A total of 1,005 incidents related to religion were reported. The largest categories of religion were: anti-Jewish incidents: 31.9%; anti-Sikh incidents: 21.3%; anti-Islamic incidents: 9.5%; and anti-Catholic incidents: 6.1%.” (In comparison, anti-Hindu incidents were at 1%, i.e. 10 out of 1,005.)

While presenting the 2021 data, the Bureau warned that the number of local agencies submitting hate crimes data had fallen significantly from 2020 and hence year-to-year comparisons may not be appropriate. I agree.

Credit: FBI Hate Crime Statistics 2021

As I had pointed out in my article in Scroll on the 2020 Hate Crimes Report, under-reporting by local police as well as by victims are to be expected, but one would also expect that to be more or less true for all communities. Hence, relative comparisons with other communities within the same year – as seen in the table above – are still a valid way to view hate crime statistics.

Of course, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is not the only source for hate crimes data. In addition to frequent news headlines, several targeted communities, such as Asian Americans, collect their own hate crime data to help better understand what is happening on the ground.

However, only the Bureau’s data is grounded in a detailed and legalistic definition of what constitutes a “hate crime”, and is followed universally by local law enforcement agencies. It is, therefore, the only reliable platform based on which one can pass judgment on emerging trends.

So, what does the Federal Bureau of Investigation say about hate crimes against Hindus?

They rank “anti-Hindu” incidents at the near bottom of the table, just like in 2020, at the 34th rank out of 35 communities reporting, with only the Jehovah’s Witnesses encountering a fewer number of hate incidents. To put it more starkly, Muslims are eight times more likely, Jews are 12 times more likely and Sikhs are 128 times more likely to be victims of hate crimes than Hindus.

This story was originally published in scroll.in . Read the full story here