The headline for this news article reads: “FBI reports hate crimes against Muslims surged by 67% in 2015”. The article then follows by claiming: that the “Number of anti-Muslim hate crimes last year at its highest since 9/11” and that “Experts say rise is fuelled by extremism and Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric”.
The statement claiming that the ‘Number of anti-Muslim hate crimes last year at its highest since 9/11’ could be considered slightly misleading. This is because, although this statement is true it implies that the figures for 2015 are close to reaching levels recorded in 2001. However, in 2001 the number of hate crimes committed based on the victim being Muslim was 481, yet in 2015 the figures was 257. This shows how the 2015 figures are not reaching levels anywhere near as close to the 2001 figures. This therefore shows how this could be considered slightly misleading.
The second statement; ‘Experts say rise is fuelled by extremism and Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric’ is also problematic. This is because they are stating a correlation between Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and the rise in hate crimes. However, due to this being correlational you cannot tell which is the cause or effect. There is a possibility, that these crimes being committed reflect the views of the people, which then lead to a president with an anti-Muslim rhetoric, rather than the suggestion of Trump’s opinions causing these hate crimes.
Although the original data does show that there has been an 67% increase in hate crimes against Muslims (103/154*100=66.8%), hate crimes overall have also risen by 22.7% (In 2014 there was 1014 incidents, in 2015 there was 1244 incidents, 230/1014*100= 22.68%). This shows that despite hate crimes against Muslims growing, hate crimes in general are also growing. This means that the original headline could be considered misleading as although hate crimes against Muslims ‘surged’, so did hate crimes in general.
Furthermore, out of the percentage of hate crimes committed against Muslims due to their religion is only 21.9%, yet 52.1% of the victims are Jewish. So, although the headline is true, it can be considered misleading as it suggests that hate crimes committed against Muslims are the highest, despite even with this rise, hate crimes against Jewish people are higher. Furthermore, there was also a rise in hate crimes in general. They rose by 22.68% (2014: 1014 incidents. 2015: 1244 incidents. 12244 – 1014 = 230. 230/1014*100= 22.68). There was also a big rise in hate crimes against Catholics which rose by 48% (2014: 25 incidents. 2015: 37 incidents. 12-25 * 100= 48%). Due to this, it could be argued that the headline is misleading because although hate crimes against Muslims did go up, so did hate crimes in general, especially hate crimes committed against Catholics. Therefore, it could be argued that the headline is misleading, as it is giving the impression that hate crimes are highest against Muslims, yet this is not the case.
To conclude, although the actual statistics are correct. What the headline is implying could be considered misleading, therefore you could argue that it is inaccurate.