The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting program has been publishing hate crimes, including anti-Muslim hate crimes, since 1995. But this program is voluntary, so much of the data is underreported and incomplete.

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Anti-Muslim hate crime numbers have yet to go down to pre-9/11 levels.

Hate crimes against Muslims jumped considerably in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001. There were 33 incidents the year before the attacks, and by the end of 2001, the number soared to 546. But levels of offenses in the U.S. — though they have decreased significantly since 2001 — have not gone down to pre-9/11 numbers. Some of the highest levels of reported hate crimes against Muslims after 2001 took place during election years, particularly in 2004, 2006 and 2010.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) collects and publishes hate crime data submitted voluntarily by more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies. Hate crime data collecting and reporting, according to FBI statistician Dr. Jim Noonan, is done by a group of about 45 people. Hate crime data from 1995 to 2012 is available online.

One of the biggest hindrances to a complete set of recorded data is the fact that this program is voluntary. Law enforcement agencies don’t have to submit their hate crime data to the FBI, though Noonan said the program is working to increase participation in the hate crime program. Subject matter experts and a training staff travel the country to conduct training sessions and encourage non-participating agencies to consider participating. Their most recent training was in the southern district of Florida.

“It becomes kind of a political issue. Nobody wants to admit they have hate crimes in their area,” he said, “but we need to get reporting up.”

Only 44 percent of hate crimes are reported to the police, according to a 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics report , and actual hate crime numbers are much higher than reported by the FBI UCRP. In Muslim communities in particular, a general distrust of law enforcement and the FBI, stemming from the defense of police surveillance of these communities , can also serve as a hindrance to accurate data collection of hate crimes.

“Our data probably looks kind of underrated or silly,” said Noonan. “For example, Alabama had no hate crimes in 2001 -- I mean, really? Something like that, we would hope people would call attention to.”

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, a well-known civil rights organization based in Alabama, has been tracking hate crimes covered by the media from 2003 to present time. The map above shows where coverage of anti-Muslim hate crimes was published, as well as a description of each crime. Though the map includes coverage from 2003 to 2013, it has a total of less than 200 data points, which is much less than all the FBI-reported hate crimes for just 2001. This gives a sense of the proportion of anti-Muslim hate crimes coverage in American media versus levels of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has a fairly extensive record, through its press releases, of relatively recent Islamophobic occurrences in the country, such as the anti-Muslim textbook censorship in Florida or the “insufficiently vetted” National September 11 Memorial Museum film in New York. CAIR has been publishing reports on the status of civil rights for Muslims every year since 1995.

Despite the increase in agencies, like the SPLC and CAIR, tracking hate crimes and Islamophobic incidents, it is very difficult to keep a full record anti-Muslim crimes and trends in the U.S. in order to get a complete picture of the overall bias.

More Reports:

White Homicide Worldwide
Southern Poverty Law Center
April 2014

Muslim-American Terrorism in 2013
UNC-Chapel Hill, Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security
February 2014
(Check out more of TCTHS’ reports here.)

After Boston, Little Change in Views of Islam and Violence
Pew Research Center
May 2013
(Check out more of Pew’s reports here.)

The World’s Muslims: Religion, Politics and Society
Pew Research Center, Religion and Public Life Project
April 2013
(Check out more of Pew’s reports here.)

Hate Crime Victimization, 2003-2011
U.S. Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics
March 2013

Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States
Council on American Islamic Relations
(Check out more of CAIR’s reports here.)

The Wall Street Journal’s Muslims: Representing Islam in America’s Print News Media
Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project, Islamophobia Studies Journal
Spring 2012

Controversies Over Mosques and Islamic Centers Across the U.S.
Pew Research Center, Religion and Public Life Project
September 2012
(Check out more of Pew’s reports here.)

Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America
Center for American Progress
August 2011

Islamophobia: Understanding Anti-Muslim Sentiment in the West
Gallup World

Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States
Council on American Islamic Relations
Jan 2009-Dec 2010
(Check out more of CAIR’s reports here.)