Thursday, June 06, 2013

FBI To Expand Religious Groups Covered By Hate Crime Reports

According to the Huffington Post, the FBI Advisory Policy Board yesterday approved a pending proposal to amend the standard hare crime incident reporting form so that police departments around the country track hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arabs. (See prior posting.) Currently the form tracks hate crimes motivated by religious animus against Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and atheists/agnostics. Subsequently yesterday an FBI spokesman announced that the FBI will go even further and will track hate crimes against "all self-identified religions in the United States as listed in the Pew Research Center’s Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) and the Statistical Abstract (2012) approved by the U.S. Census Bureau." That list includes: Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Orthodox, Other Christian, Jewish, Islamic (Muslim), Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Other Religions, Multiple Religions-Group, and Atheism/Agnosticism. All of these changes must still be approved by FBI Director Robert Mueller.