July 1, 2024
Attorney General Rob Bonta

Photo Credit: Noah Berger, File / Associated Press

(SACRAMENTO, CA – 7/1/2024) – The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) today welcomed the release of California State Attorney General Rob Bonta’s statewide 2023 Annual Hate Crime report.

SEE: Attorney General Bonta Releases 2023 Hate Crime Report, Highlights Continues Efforts to Combat Hate

The annual Hate Crime Report presents and analyzes statistics on hate crimes reported to law enforcement agencies throughout California. It aims to help the public and law enforcement officials better understand hate crimes statewide and what can be done to address them.

According to the new report, overall hate crime events in California decreased from the previous year. However, hate crimes targeting religious minorities have continued to rise. From 2022 to 2023, anti-Muslim bias events increased by 60% as the last quarter of 2023 saw an increase in anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic rhetoric and actions.

Hate crimes involving racial bias also reportedly decreased, but anti-Black bias events remained the most prevalent despite seeing a 20.6% decrease from 2022. Events involving anti-Arab hate remained consistent.

In a statement, CAIR-LA Legal Director Amr Shabaik, Esq. said:

“The findings from this report mirror the alarming increase and persistence in hate and bias against the Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities that have been reported to our offices statewide over the past year. This rise in hate can be directly attributed to the Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian rhetoric that has been perpetuated by individuals, media outlets, political leaders, and university and college administrators to silence those who advocate for Palestinian human rights and to justify the genocide in Gaza.

“We know that hate crimes and hate incidents targeting our communities are underreported, and these numbers do not fully capture the extent of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hate our community faces. The report clearly shows that much more work needs to be done to address hate against vulnerable communities in California, starting with the commitment from our elected officials to the safety and well-being of their Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab constituents.”

Since Oct. 7, CAIR-CA has received an increase in reports of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian bias. In 2023, its statewide civil rights department received over 700 intakes, with 150 alleging Islamophobic, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Arab hate crimes and incidents. Community members have reported facing threats, physical attacks, intimidation, harassment, and doxxing due to their Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian identities, or support for Palestine.

SEE ALSO: New CAIR Civil Rights Report Reveals Highest Number of Complaints in Group’s 30-Year History

Earlier this year, CAIR’s national office published its 2024 Civil Rights Report, revealing a 56% increase in nationwide anti-Muslim incidents from the previous year—the highest number of complaints in its 30-year history.

CAIR-CA wants to remind the community of the importance of reporting all complaints and incidents, even if action or follow-up isn’t requested. If you or someone you know are the victim of a hate crime or incident, immediately contact your local CAIR-CA office or click here to file a report.

CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

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CONTACT: CAIR-LA Digital Communications Manager Enjy El-Kadi, (714) 851-4851 or eelkadi@cair.com; CAIR-LA Communications Coordinator Madi Morse-Hameed, mmorse-hameed@cair.com