18:10 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Physical assaults against Muslims in the United States rose dramatically in 2016, surpassing attacks recorded in the year of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Physical attacks on Muslims in the US rose nearly 40 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year and for the first time surpassed assaults recorded in 2001, the year of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC, according to a report by the PEW Research Center on Wednesday.

    "In 2016, there were 127 reported victims of aggravated or simple assault, compared with 91 the year before and 93 in 2001," a press release explaining the report stated.

    The release explained the most common form of persecution against Muslims involves intimidation, which is defined as a "reasonable fear of bodily harm," the release noted.

    "Anti-Muslim intimidation also increased in 2016, with 144 reported victims, compared with 120 the previous year," the release said. "These numbers, however, are still dwarfed by the 296 victims of anti-Muslim intimidation in 2001."

    As in previous years, the largest number of all types of hate crime incidents against religious groups targeted Jews, according to the report.

    In 2016, there were 684 anti-Jewish hate crime incidents, marking a slight increase from 664 in 2015, the release said. By comparison, in 2016, there were 62 hate crimes against Catholics and 15 against Protestants.

    PEW based its report on data collected by the US Department of Justice.

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