Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 14, 2004
Religion a leading hate-crime motivator, says pilot study
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
A pilot survey involving 12 major Canadian police forces shows that religion was one of the top hate crime motivators in Canada during 2001 and 2002.
Hate crimes motivated by religion accounted for 43 per cent of the 928 hate crime incidents reported during the two years, second only to hate crimes motivated by race and ethnicity, which accounted for 57 per cent of the total. Blacks and South Asians were among those most targeted in crime incidents motivated by race or ethnicity.
Released by Statistics Canada, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics results, in collaboration with 12 police forces, show the majority of incidents motivated by religion involved anti-Semitism, followed by those targeting Muslims. "The largest single group identified in the pilot survey was Jewish people or institutions," said the report. One quarter of all hate crime incidents reported by the police departments was anti-Semitic in nature and 11 per cent were motivated by hatred against Muslims, it said. The 12 hate crime incidents reported against Catholics represented one per cent of all the incidents.
In the case of anti-religion hate crimes, about two-thirds included acts of vandalism, arson, other property offences and hate propaganda.
However, "Individuals targeted because of their sexual orientation were more likely than other groups to suffer violent crimes, including assault and uttering threats."
About 46 per cent of gay and lesbian victims of hate crimes were injured as a result of the incident, almost twice the proportion of 25 per cent among hate crime victims in general.
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