State Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Wednesday released annual statistics on anti-Arab hate crimes showing a roughly 15 percent spike in such incidents following last September's terrorist attacks.
Lockyer noted that the increase marked a reversal of general trends toward fewer such problems.
“The overall number of hate crimes reported last year would have decreased 5 percent from a year earlier if not for the bias-motivated assaults against Californians victimized because they are Muslim or appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent,” he said.
In his report titled “Hate Crime in California 2001,” the attorney general noted that religiously oriented hate crimes either remained steady or declined for other groups.
But from 2000 to 2001, the number of crimes targeting people of Middle Eastern descent or Muslims went up from 5 to 87.
About three-fourths of the recorded anti-Arab incidents involved intimidation, assault or other serious or violent crime, he said.
The report can be found on the Internet at http://ag.ca.gov/cjsc/publications/hatecrimes/hc01/preface.pdf.