Hate crimes against Muslims increased slightly in 2017 compared to 2016, according to newly-released statistics by the FBI. In addition, since 2014, religiously-motivated hate crimes have been on the rise from a low of 1,140 reported in 2014 to 1,749 reported in 2017.
However, the FBI said the increased numbers in reported hate crimes is partially due to the fact that more police departments are sharing hate crime information with the federal agency.
As with previous years, the number of hate crimes reported against Muslims represented a fraction of the number of hate crimes against Jews.
In 2017, hate crimes against Jews represented 58.1 percent of all religiously-motivated hate crimes, by far the largest group. Second were hate crimes against Muslims, which represented 18.6 percent of religiously-motivated hate crimes.
In real numbers, that translates to 325 reported hate crimes against Muslims in 2017 and 1,016 reported against Jews.
No statistics were available as to the religion, ethnic or racial makeup of the perpetrators of these crimes.
At present an investigation is underway by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) who are investigating an incident last Friday night when a driver screaming anti-Semitic slurs attempted to run over a group of visibly-identifiable Orthodox Jews.
The driver first drove past the Jews. Video footage shows the car making an abrupt U-Turn. Witnesses say he then attempted to run over the group. The car sped off and was involved in a car crash at a nearby intersection. The driver continued his anti-Semitic rant even after the police arrived.
Witnesses say the driver was of Middle-Eastern descent and there was a Quran visible behind the windshield.