Hate crimes based on religious identity are on the rise.
Despite the shocking nature of the data about religion-based hate crimes, specifics are somewhat tricky to track down. A governmental committee met recently to find out why.
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to look into the startling increase, particularly the crimes directed at religious minorities like Jewish and Muslim people. The committee sought answers from Trump administration officials about the lack of reporting about these incidents.
And, at least according to special counsel to the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division on religious discrimination, Eric Treene, the problem could be worse than these numbers reflect.
The FBI hate crime statistics are useful in identifying trends, but they rely on voluntary reporting by state and local law enforcement agencies, and are only as accurate as the identification and reporting processes that law enforcement agencies put into place and implement with all of their officers.
Hate crimes already represent about 4 percent of violent crime in the United States, but that number might not be accurate. The Trump administration says it intends to act aggressively to end religion-based hate crimes.