The number of hate crimes rose across the United States in 2017, marking the first time in over a decade that the country has experienced consecutive annual increases in crimes targeting people based on their race, religion, sexuality, disability or national origin. A prominent US civil rights group says it has identified almost 900 incidents of harassment following Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential election. The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) is calling on Mr Trump to “act strongly to squelch harassment”. Along with representatives of teachers’ unions and other civil rights groups, the SPLC outlines how they say Mr Trump’s rhetoric and actions have affected US society. The SPLC has been monitoring social media and news reports, and an online form that they have created for Americans to self-report hateful incidents.

Ironically, US authorities remain reluctant to call the extremists’ acts on US soil as terrorist incidences and have been labelling them as just ‘Hate Crimes’ or ‘Act of Evil’ in contrast to such crimes committed by the Muslims that are termed as ‘extremism, radicalism and terror’. There are estimated 900 extremist groups of various hate filled ideologies. In 1990s, the average number of attacks per year in US was 70; however, the average number of attacks per year from 2000 to 2011 were recorded to be at an average of 307 attacks, a rise of more than 400%.

ANZA KANWAL,

Rawalpindi, January 18.