July 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%, with a significant rise in anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic rhetoric and actions in the last quarter of 2023.

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 San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA) Managing Attorney Brittney Rezaei said:

“This report underscores the critical need to address the persistent and growing issue of hate crimes targeting Muslim, Palestinian, and Arab communities. Despite an overall decrease in hate crimes, the alarming rise in anti-Muslim bias incidents, which have increased by 60%, is a stark reminder of the pervasive impact of Islamophobic rhetoric and actions that have intensified since Oct. 7, further endangering and marginalizing these vulnerable communities.

“We must recognize that these reported numbers underrepresent the true extent of the problem, as many incidents go unreported. CAIR-CA remains committed to working with community members, law enforcement, and policymakers to combat hate and ensure the safety and dignity of all individuals. It is crucial for our leaders to take a firm stand against hate and work towards creating an environment where all individuals, regardless of their faith or background, feel safe and respected.”

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.

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

SEE: New CAIR Civil Rights Report Reveals Highest Number of Complaints in Group’s 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 is not 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.