Muslim, Jewish women ‘bear the brunt of hate crimes’: NCCM
The number of police-reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in Canada more than tripled between 2012 and 2015, despite the overall number of such crimes decreasing over the same period, according to Statistics Canada data released Tuesday.
In 2015, police across the country recorded 159 hate crimes targeted at Muslims, up from 45 in 2012, representing an increase of 253 per cent.
In just one year, between 2014 and 2015, that number increased by 59 per cent: from 99 in 2014 to 159 the following year.
Overall, the number of police-reported hate crimes across the country decreased 3.8 per cent to 1,362 from a high of 1,414 in 2012.
Still, that total has increased since 2013 when the overall number was 1,165, representing a 14.5 per cent hike over three years.
READ MORE: Anti-Muslim incidents in Quebec: a timeline
Statistics Canada defines a hate crime as a criminal incident that, following a police investigation, is determined to have been motivated by hatred toward a specific and definable group, whether by race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, language, sex, age or disability, to name a few.
In 2015, police reported 35 per cent of all hate crimes were motivated by the hatred of a religion.
Although Jewish Canadians still experience the highest incidence of religion-related hate crimes, the number declined to 178 in 2015 from 213 the previous year, whereas crimes again Muslim Canadians increased.
Across Canada, only 10 per cent of the population belongs to a religion other than Christianity, according to Statistics Canada.
Recent projections from the federal agency suggest that number could almost double by 2036.
“Within this group, the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths would see the number of their followers grow more quickly, although still representing a small portion of the population overall,” Tuesday’s report reads.
WATCH: National Council of Canadian Muslims decry rise in hate crimes