SHAFAQNA- Hate crimes targeting Muslims in the U.S. rose 67 percent last year, the FBI said in an annual report released Monday.
The uptick is part of an overall 7 percent hike in hate crimes across the U.S. last year.
Of the 7,121 victims identified in the report, nearly 20 percent were targeted because of a religious bias, the bureau said in its hate crimes report.
That is the second-highest motivation for offenders behind race or ethnicity.
Anti-Islamic bias made up the second highest religious bias at 22 percent of the total, behind anti-Jewish bias that accounted for more than half, making Jews the most targeted group in the U.S.
The findings mesh with complaints from the Muslim-American community that members have experienced a dramatic uptick in the number of Islamophobic attacks.
In total, 2015 saw 257 anti-Muslim incidents that targeted 307 individuals, according to the FBI.
That’s the highest number since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement that it noticed “a sharp jump in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide last year.
“This unprecedented increase in bigotry of all kinds must be repudiated in the strongest terms possible by all our nation’s leaders, beginning with President-elect Donald Trump,” said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.
On several occasions during the election cycle, Trump targeted Muslims, most controversially calling for a ban on entry that he later eased.
While its unknown if that will actually take effect once he officially takes office in January, reports have continued to mount regarding hate crime attacks against minorities, including Muslims, across the country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a non-profit that combats hate crimes, said it has tracked 315 cases of “hateful harassment and intimidation” since Election Day alone.