Hate Crime Research Paper

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Four Jewish teens were attacked and robbed by a group of teens On November 11, 2018, while walking near Fairholme Avenue and Bathurst Street in Toronto. Sunday when they passed another group of teens, the boys were subject to offensive remarks about their religion, and they were made fun of based on what they were wearing. According to the police spokesperson Katrina Arrogante the boys were wearing their makes on their heads. The police spokesperson reported she was not sure what their basic outfit was, but that the comment that was being made to them and that the assault occurred. The boys were punched and kicked at least once and a pair of sunglasses was stolen from one of the victims. Minor injuries were sustained; some injury to the face and some bruising to the lower body and they were treated on scene. One of the boys said, “ as a Jew and as a religious Jew, as an observant Jew in Canada, which officially accepts all religions, all races, everybody, to be attacked physically just because I’m a minority as a thing that should have been of history, it happened once, it shouldn’t happen again”.

This is significant because it shows us that even though we claim that everyone is free to practice their religious belief without being discriminated against, some group is still attacked for their religions and also this case also help us do more about hate crime because not just the event for the past, but it still happening in the present time. By using this case study, will try to show harmless people can be assaulted because of their religion’s practices and traditions. I will also try to show that victims are not only people that get the effect of the hate crime committed against them, but the whole community gets the effect.

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Definition of the problem

Hate crimes include incidents in which the perpetrator aims at a certain victim because the victim belongs to a particular group. Mostly, hate crime victims are members of minority racial groups, or religions, or have a different sexual orientation (Miller, Alexandra J, 2001). There is no fixed definition of what creates a hate crime. Rather, each organization and government agency uses a different basis when defining an incident as a hate crime. For example, there is no specific definition of hate crime in Canadian law. In fact, any crime can be qualified as a hate crime if the prosecutors can convince beyond reasonable doubt that hatred was an aggravating factor that propel crime, this only comes to play at sentencing, but Canada’s criminal code does have legislation against hate propaganda in section 318,319. Which prohibits the willful promotion of hatred towards an “identifiable group” which is outstanding by color, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability.

Anti-Defamation (1997) suggested that hate crime victims are people who have a crime committed against them because of their “race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender. Police-report hate crimes (2017) refer to criminal incidents that at the time of investigation, police found that the crime has been motivated by hatred toward an identifiable group. An incident may be against a person or property and may aim at race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, sex, race, age, or mental or physical disability, among other factors.

Hence, the real crime committed is not what decides whether the incident is classified as a hate crime. Rather, the victim’s inclusion in a particularly protected group is the key to whether the incident becomes categorized as a hate crime and if hatred was an aggravating factor that motivated the crime. Hate crimes are not recent incidents. The Roman persecution of the Christian and German Nazi's “final solution” for the Jewish people is a form of hate crime (Petrosino,1999). Jews were the most likely religious member to be the target of hate crimes.

Literature Review

It is important to know that hate crime does not only have an impact on the victim but has an impact on the whole community to which the victim belongs. The injury and the message extend to the community the victim belongs. For example, the attack on Jewish teens was meant to send the message to all Jewish people that they are welcome in the community. A crime motivated by faith also includes more attacks against one person’s system of beliefs. In other words, a religious hate crime perpetrator does not just attack a person- he or she attacks a religion, a way of life, and even a whole community. The pain spawned by hate crimes extends beyond the individual to the primary victim’s group or community in the Winder neighborhood community who knows the victim or hears of his or her experience (Mohamad Al-Hakim and Susan Dimock, 2012). In addition, a religious hate crime may well cause repetitive acts of violence among groups/ or individuals with various beliefs (Mokhtar B Barka, 2006).

According to the survey conducted by Dr. Perry and Dr. Alvi when they ask the participant how they think hate and bias incidents alter the target community most of them said that they felt fear; makes them hard to trust the other groups; makes them feel unsafe (Perry and Alvi, 2011). Hate crime has a huge social impact on the target community. hate crime makes the group to which the victim belongs feel equally vulnerable to victimization and fearful. In this situation, the members of vulnerable communities can read the intended message. With no doubt, this makes them doubtful about their place in the community and does leave them feeling less worthy than the probable offender (Perry and Alvi, 2011). Hate crime is an act of violence and coercion directed towards the unified winder community whom the victim is perceived to represent. As such hate crimes represent the natural relationship of dominance and deficiency within the bounds of structural norms and are intended to send a message to the victim’s community that they are different and they don’t belong in that community (Chakraborti and Garland, 2012).

The extremist literature accuses Jews of economic suffering, socialism, unfaithfulness to America, and encouraging other minorities to mix marriage and other anticipated in the abduction of white power. At times, the literature even accuses Jews of being the spawn of Satan. It claimed that a Jewish scheme runs the country’s and the world's media, banks, businesses, and governments (Phyllis B Gerstenfeld, 2011, P.179). Because of the things extremists accused Jew people of now, most people see the Jew people as enemies and this leaves them vulnerable to attack and being victims of hate crimes.

Phyllis B Gerstenfeld (2011) suggested that many people hated Jews for so long due to what has been shown on the Aryan Nations Web site (www.aryan-nations.org), for example, the website has displayed an animation listing many historical examples of Jews having been “ banned, deported, executed, expelled, persecuted, and slaughtered”, with suggestions that these practices must be used against the Jews worldwide in the 21st century. Some people and groups are still following that suggestion today and that’s why Jewish people are still attacked in today's world (P 181).

Since corresponding data become accessible in 2009, the number of police-report hate crimes has ranged from a low of 1,167 incidents in 2013 to a high of 2,073 in 2017. Regardless of the large increase, hate crime in 2017 depicted a small portion of overall crime at 0.1% of more than 1.9 million non-traffic crimes reported by police services that year. Police data on hate-motivated crimes contain only those incidents that come to the attention of police services and rely upon the police services' level of skills in analyzing crimes motivated by hate. As a result, an increase in the number may be connected to more reporting by the public or after an intense sensitivity high profile events / or a result of a real increase in the extent of hate crimes being committed. As with other crimes, self-reported data provides another way to observe hate-motivated crime (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 2018). According to the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians’ Safety (Victimization), Canadians self-reported being victims of over 330,000 criminal incidents they recognized as being motivated by hate 5% of total self-reported incidents, and two-thirds of these incidents were not reported to the police.

Among the province, the extreme increase in the long-term number of police-reported hate crimes was noticed in Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, where incidents increase from 612 in 2016 to 1, 023 in 2017(+ 67%). This increase was mostly tied to more hate crimes aimed at the Muslim 207%, Black 84%, and Jewish 41% populations (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 2018).

Hate crimes against religion accounted for 41% of all hate crimes in Canada in 2017 and the number of such hate crimes was up significantly from 2016. There were 842 hate crimes targeting religious groups in 2017, up 83% from the previous year. Hate crimes against the Jewish population increased for the second consecutive year, rising from 221 in 2016 to 360 in 2017. Hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 18% of all hate crimes in Canada. Ontario reported 61 more incidents, while British Columbia reported an increase of 54 in 2016 (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 2018).

Hate crime statutes with provisions for penalty improvement execute by most states and with many covering religion, sexual orientation, and gender. No one charged with a hate crime but hate crime can be added at sentencing as aggravating factors under the criminal code of Canada section 718.2 (a) (i) if the prosecutor can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the crime was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national, or ethnic origin, language, color, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or any similar factor. a. A sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offense or the offender, and limiting the generality of the foregoing (Mohamad Al-Hakim and Susan Dimock, 2012).

Theoretical Framework

“Until we are able, as culture, to celebrate difference rather than denigrate it, until we dismantle those boundaries, we will continue to force people into rigid categories of male/ female, straight/ gay, white/not white, normal/ deviant often through violence. We must begin to think of and enact difference differently” (B Perry 2001, p 226).

We need to come up with an approach that would help people think about differences differently such as public accountability, education, and building partnerships with communities. Most of the time why people have a bias against differences because they do not have knowledge or the little knowledge they have are from misinformation.

Public accountability: we must implement legislation that, in fact, adds to discriminatory violence, wreck legislation intended to challenge hate crime; and exclusive legislation that differently protects communities (B Perry, 2016). Put stress on the role the state hyperbole and policy play in increasing negative images and perceptions of minority groups. For example, President Trump said he would a build wall on the border of Mexico and the U.S to stop them from coming into the country that sends a message that Mexicans are not welcome in America and that would leave them more vulnerable to hate crimes or violence and extremes group would take that as permission for them to mistreat Mexicans are in America already. Holding authorities accountable for preventing and countering hate by investing for all stakeholders. Investing in police training on how to recognize hate crimes and how to report them since they are first responded it’s important that they know how to recognize hate, and they also need to train on diversity, equality, and inclusion (B Perry, 2016). Most of the hate crime incidents are not reported because the victim was from a minority group. More educated officers should be hired and once get hired they need to be immersed in the values that mitigate against apathy or outright hostility toward difference.

Education: To extend individual knowledge and skills, it’s important to look at programs and practices that are focusing on specific individuals and groups who are at risk, providing skills and knowledge that would help protect them from harm. The key area is to emphasize empowering and strengthening individual capacities to make sense of and confront hostility directed their way. Hate is so commonplace and bland that it is almost impossible for those outside the vulnerable communities to fully acknowledge its weight or to recognize it as a terror in our society as a whole. When the public lack cultural awareness and understanding of difference, this contribute to exclusion, victimization, fear, and tolerance of hate crime (B Perry 2016). So, it’s important to educate people in the community such as teachers, social workers, and criminal justice personnel about the weight and recognize the terror of hate crime in our society. Things like social media initiatives should rise alongside more traditional public awareness campaigns directed towards downsizing bias and related acts of harassment and violence, also create campaigns that primarily target the youth audience to oppose hate crime and prejudice among youth.

Police partnership with communities: building partnerships with minority groups and their community would help them feel welcome and included. For example, the liaison case study that was conducted in Ottawa by the police in challenging the boundaries of the citizenship administration to better make room for the interests of the LGBT individual turn out to be successful, as a result of the partnership with LGBT individual and their community organization has been working together to the definition of crime and safety that correlate to the LGBT communities definition of violence or hate crime (Ann-Marie Field, 2007). The key was the challenge of the citizenship barrier and minimum level of safety to allow LGBT people to enjoy the benefits of citizenship and contribute to the political community. The engagement of the police was a strong way of police being responsible for the community. The partnership made it easier for the community and the police to discuss issues that affect the community, share information about hate crimes, and discuss improving the safety of the community. This approach can be used with any group or community and I wish every city in Canada would follow this approach. I believe that if the police have a good relationship with minority communities many hate crimes would be reported and some of the groups would be less vulnerable to hate crimes.

Analysis of the Case Study

These case studies make clear that the victim had not committed a crime or hurt anyone, and yet they were attacked because of their religious beliefs. The Jewish teens were chosen at the prudence of their attackers who happened to condemn or not understand their specific faith beliefs. Cultural stereotypes and bias help extremist groups whose members are to be saved. This path to the social and political world results in a hostile and highly fateful discourse. Studying this case closely one can see how any believer, regardless of his or her doctrine, can be a victim of a religious hate crime. Putting it another way there is no one safe or hate crime free religion.

Mostly driven by the prejudices and biases of hate crime perpetrators, falling victim to religious hate crime is therefore religiously non-discriminatory. These cases also show that attitude played a major role in deciding on the victims. The Jewish teens were attacked because they were seen to be different in some culturally obvious way. The offenders of violence do not care who their victim really is, nor do they train to prey on individuals or groups of individuals. One of the main issues is the lack of specialization among haters is the identity of victims: if they can’t find someone Black to attack, they will go after someone gay. If they can not find someone gay, they will go for someone who is Jewish, Muslim, or disabled.

The above mention example shows that a crime motivated by faith also involves more attacks against one-person system beliefs. In other words, a religious hate crime offender doesn’t just attack a person, but he or she attacks a religion, a way of life, and even a whole community. In this respect it may be said that hate crimes work like terrorism; although there may be only one victim, hate crime target and threaten an entire community. for example, if a Jewish person is attacked because he or she is a Jew, a threatening message is sent to the entire community; it is like saying if we find a Jew, we will attack them.

Furthermore, a religious hate crime may well cause dangerous seasonal acts of violence among groups and individuals with different beliefs. Unlike disability hate crimes which are single-bias incidents, offenses based on bias against religion are in most cases more than one bias crimes, given that religion and ethnicity, which may include both race and nationality turn to overlay. Making a distinction between religious hate crimes and ethnically motivated incidents it is particularly difficult.

Current Responses

The case received a few responses from different sources. Police respond to the case and they said the incident would be investigated as a hate crime. Police didn’t give enough information on the case but maybe because the party involved were teens and maybe the police didn’t want to against the youth justice system. The police also reported that one of the suspects who attacked the Jewish boy was arrested and charged with assault and robbery. since then I have never seen or heard anything about this case not sure if the police still investigating it or if they have stopped.

The major of Toronto John Tory also responded to this case saying, “No one should ever be attacked for their religion.” Toronto major Tory also tweeted about the incident and called on the public to help the police to solve this hate crime/robbery investigation.

Federal Conservative and Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted: “Troubling to hear of the attack on Jewish teens in Toronto. Anti-Semitism will never be tolerated, and I hope the culprits of this hate crime will be swiftly brought to justice.” Premier Doug Ford added: “There is no place in Ontario for anti-Semitism and our government will not tolerate hatred of any kind.”

Toronto Sun reported that “The right to remain silent was likely never intended to apply to the prime minister after an alleged anti-Semitic hate attack in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood in Toronto”. Some are articulate and worried about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s lack of disapproval, or even comment, on the frightening alleged hate attack on four Hasidic teenage boys who were hit with fists, boots, and racial smear, which included being told: “Hitler is coming back.”

Jewish Defence League Canadian Chapter National Director Meir Weinstein said it “sends” a terrible message. “I am very disappointed that the PM has remained silent regarding the recent violent, anti-Semitic attack against Jewish teens in Toronto,” said Weinstein. “The lack of response seems to be a double standard. I remember the reaction of the PM regarding the young Islamic girl who falsely claimed that her Hijab was cut in a racist attack.” This makes Jewish people feel like they are not welcome when the people in power do not respond to the incident the same way, they respond to another incident.

In my opinion, everyone was on board in condemning this kind of act and violent and making clear that it is not tolerated in Toronto but the luck of a response sent from the Prime Mister send a very bad message, and since his been commending to other incidents that related to hate crime or off that nature. But overall, I believe the incident received an appropriate response.

Future Implications

As the police- report hate crime data show that the number of hate crimes has risen in the past years. Their number doesn’t seem to be decreasing because Canada has racial, ethnic, and religious. Canada's population has become more distinct as the portion of Canada of Canadians who report being foreign-born, non-Christian, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or in a same-sex relationship continues to grow. For example, one-fifth of Canada’s population was foreign- born in 2016 and by 2036, this could range from 24.5% to 30%. With this increase in diversity, we should start educating people about diversity and how to accept differences.

Still, the fight against hate crimes is required and demands the attention of every citizen. For the program and service, it means finding a way to implement a program that would fight against hate and provide services to victims of hate crimes. For legislation, it means improving laws to address the serious terror of hate crime and also passing legislation that would allow the offender of hate to be charged with hate and not just consider hate crimes as aggravating factors at sentencing. For educators, it means finding a way to open channels of cultural understanding among children. In other words, teaching children about diversity and inclusion. For police, it means increasing attention to acts of hate and violence. For neighborhoods, it means reinforcing the bonds of community to embrace diversity and reject acts of discrimination.

Future researchers should be more research on religious hate crimes. There has been more research done on sexual orientation, identity, and expression, but there are a few types of research on religion, and future researchers should also focus on the impact of hate crime on the community to which the victim belongs.


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