Anti-Jewish hate crimes alone made up 54.2 percent of religious hate crimes, compared to 51.3 percent in 2015.
The report points to a wide range of hate crimes, motivated by bias toward race, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender, or gender identity.
"It's deeply disturbing to see hate crimes increase for the second year in a row", Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. The community has been a victim of hate crimes as they are usually mistaken as Arabs due to their turbans.
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The FBI also says the statistics may be misleading. Of the 6,121 incidents reported, 1,076 were based on sexual orientation bias and 124 were based on gender identity bias.
African-Americans were far and away the main target of hate crimes in general, targeted in 1,739 incidents, accounting for more than half of racially motivated hate crimes and about 28 percent of the total. But he said part of the reason San Leandro may have ranked so high this year is that his officers are told to classify incidents as hate crimes in cases that may not initially have been motivated by bigotry, but which involved a racial slur, misogynist comment, or homophobic remark. Anti-Jewish incidents rose by 3 percent, while anti-Muslim incidents rose by 20 percent. The second most common place for a hate crime previous year was on or near roadways, suggesting road rage was a factor.
Most hate crimes, about 27 percent, happened at residences. "Police departments that do not report credible data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation risk sending the message that this is not a priority issue for them". Religion is the recorded bias in almost 23 percent of the incidents.
"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that individuals can live without fear of being a victim of violent crime based on who they are, what they believe, or how they worship", Sessions said. The number of participating agencies also varies from year to year, so simple year-by-year comparisons are cautioned against.