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30 Days of Love: 12/30

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 30th 2013 // soundings, Stories and Voices // no comments

According to an article recently picked up by Salon, originally published by The Southern Poverty Law Center using statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, hate crimes against perceived Muslims increased 50% in 2010, and have not statistically dropped. The overall numbers reported by the FBI may seem small (157 reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2011, and 160 in 2010). However, the FBI admits its figures under-report actual incidents by 20–30 times, which means between 3,000–4,500 hate crimes against Muslims were not reported in 2011.

The problem still might seem statistically very small in the context of a total Muslim population of 6.8 million in the United States, and might seem statistically non-existent in the context of United States population of 314 million (about 1 in every 20,000 Muslims, and slightly more than 1 in every 100,000 Americans have been victims of hate crimes against perceived Muslims). Obviously  it’s impact on the victim, victim’s family, friends and community is not insignificant. Also significant is the corrosive nature of these hate crimes to our society as a whole and over time.

About one third of hate crimes crimes are intimidation, which includes verbal abuse. Left unchallenged, these hate crimes change public discourse and public opinion, reflected by the point-of-view that anti-Muslim bigotry is not a problem (CNN), (Daily Kos), and changing how we speak about and to each other, with a focus on differences rather than our common humanity.

We are not always called upon to fight injustice as the best way to remedy it. (Being in the right place at the right time to combat this injustice would appear statistically unlikely). Sometimes it is enough act intentionally and with determination on behalf of what is right. In this case one of the most effective things we can do may be to educate ourselves so that when we encounter anti-Muslim rhetoric we can recognize and counter it with reason, understanding, and love.

January 30, 2013. Counter anti-Muslim bigotry.

Learn how to counter anti-Muslim bigotry in your community during the SSL  “Taking Action Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry” webinar on Thursday, February 28 at 7:00pm ET. Click here to register.

Declare solidarity with American Muslims and become a part of the Shoulder to Shoulder campaign.

Read the FBI Annual Hate Crimes Report.

Learn more about Islam.

Study “Ten Ways to Fight Hate“, from the Southern Poverty Law Conference.



About the Author

Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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