A Spike in Hate Crimes


As the election campaign progresses, it is difficult to ignore the continued intolerant and hateful rhetoric against groups perceived to be a threat. Whenever there is a domestic terrorist attacks, irrespective of who causes, we see a rise in hate crimes against religious minorities.

My colleagues and I began compiling a comprehensive map of attacks and other threats of violence against American Muslims as well as others such as Sikh Americans, Americans of Indian descent and frankly anyone who looks “foreign”. The map has been updated on a regular basis since November 2015 and continues to see an uptick of threats and violence against the Muslim community and those perceived to be “Middle Eastern,” particularly after significant media coverage of terrorist attacks, domestically or globally.

There has been a consistent and troubling increase in hate crimes since November when we first began collecting data. At the rate these incidents are happening, we are unlikely to catch them all – so please email us if you learn of one in your neighborhood. It is our hope that this map can serve as a resource in your advocacy efforts or as you work to change the culture of hate, bigotry and paranoia slowly burgeoning in the U.S. 


Ehsan Zaffar
Ehsan Zaffar is a civil rights advocate, educator and policymaker and the founder of the Los Angeles Mobile Legal Aid Clinic, which helped to pioneer the delivery of mobile legal care to vulnerable populations in California and across the nation.