What hate crime statistics really say


(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

We’re often told that hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise,andthat anti-Muslim bigotry is a growing problem in Canada.

This is the argument behind the Trudeau government’s dubious motion, M-103, which seeks to use a “whole-of-government approach” to eliminate the undefined and politically-loaded concept of  “Islamophobia”.

“The government should recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” reads the text.  

But is it true there is an “increasing public climate of hate andfear”? 

Have Canadians really responded to the rise of jihadist terrorism with hatred and bigotry towards Muslims in our communities?

The answer, by and large, is no. 

Canada has Muslim representatives at every level of government, including the House, Senate, executive, as well as in provincialandmunicipal governments. 

There are many prominent Muslim journalists in Canada, including two brilliant writers regularly featured in this paper: Farzana Hassan and Tarek Fatah. 

Canada has famous Muslim singers, actors, television hosts, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, business leaders, academics and senior government officials. 

Given that Muslims make up about 3% of Canada’s population, it’s safe to say Muslims punch above their weight in terms of their prominence in Canada. 

As for anti-Muslim crimes, according to recently released data from Statistics Canada, the number of hate crimes against Muslims went down last year. 

Reported anti-Muslim hate crimes fell by 13% in 2016.

By comparison, hate crimes against Jews increased by 24%.

Hate crimes are always a problem, but we should address the problem in a proportionate way. 

There were 1,409 hate crimes reported to police in 2016; more or less in line with the numbers reported over the past decade (a high of 1,482 in 2009, and a low of 1,167 in 2013). 

Of those 1,409 reported crimes, 139 were against Muslims. 

With a Canadian population of over 36 million, we should recognize how rare it is to experience a crime motivated by anti-religious bigotry—and how uncommon it is for Muslims to be the victim of this type of crime. 

Canada is a great place to be a Muslim. You could argue it’s one of the best places in the world.

Sadly, the worst Canadian hate crime in recent history was aimed at Muslims praying in their mosque in Quebec City. 

In January, 2017, a bigoted gunman stormed the mosque during evening prayers and opened fire on the worshipers. 

Six people were murdered and 19 injured in this senseless rampage.  

In response, Canadians from coast to coast participated in public vigils and gatherings in the bitter cold; showing sympathy to the victims and expressing solidarity with our fellow citizens of the Muslim faith.  

In addition to this violence, there is no doubt the world is experiencing a surge in Islamist terrorism. 

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace’s annual Global Terrorism Index, 77 countries experienced deadly jihadist attacks last year – the most since 2001. 

The report found 25,673 people were killed in terrorist attacks in 2016.

There were also more jihadist attacks in 2016 in Western countries than any other year in several decades. 

Despite what Liberal politicians say, the data show anti-Muslim hatred in Canada is decreasing.

Meanwhile, Islamist terrorism is...(READ MORE)