The FBI says the number of reported hate crimes dropped significantly in 2009 from the previous year, to their lowest point in more than 15 years, despite the deepening recession and growing social tensions.
Anti-religious crimes also declined, although attacks against Jewish targets continued to far outstrip incidents aimed at Muslims and Islamic sites, David Gibson writes.
The FBI report shows that there were 6,598 single-bias incidents in 2009, with nearly half motivated by racial bias. The second-highest total was the 1,303 incidents motivated by religious bias, accounting for just under 20 percent of all hate crimes.
Overall, the numbers represent a drop of 15 percent in all hate crimes to the lowest number reported since 1994, outstripping the 5.5 percent decline in violent crime in 2009 and the 4.9 percent drop in property crimes.
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