Washington: The number of US hate crime
victims rose slightly last year to nearly 9,700 from 9,500 in
2007, with most people targeted because of their skin colour,
the FBI said on Monday.
More than half of hate crimes committed in the United
States were racially motivated, and three-quarters of the
victims were black, the FBI`s annual report on hate crimes
Of the 6,927 known perpetrators of all hate crimes --
which include attacks driven by not only racial bias but also
by the victims` religious affiliation, sexual orientation,
ethnic origins or disability -- 61 percent were white.
Blacks perpetrated attacks in around 20 percent of cases.
The report was compiled after the issue of race was
thrust into the centre of US politics with African American
Barack Obama`s successful bid to be elected the first black
president of the United States.
Around 17 percent of hate crime victims were attacked
because of their sexual orientation, the overwhelming
majority, 96 percent, because they were gay or lesbian.
Nearly 20 percent were attacked for their religious
affiliation, with Jews making up around two-thirds of the
victims of those attacks.
Muslims were the targets of less than eight percent of
religious hate crimes, putting them in third place behind Jews
and followers of unspecified "other religions" attacked in 13
percent of religion-fueled hate crimes.