HATE CRIMES, from Page 5
•6.1 percent happened in garages or parking lots; and
•4.3 percent occurred in churches, temples and synagogues.
The remaining 29.7 percent took place in other locations.
The bias events that were reported were targeted at 12 different minority groups with gay and lesbian and black groups accounting for 48 percent of the crimes. The combination of gay and lesbian, black and Hispanic groups accounted for 66 percent of all bias incidents. Other minority groups on the top-12 list were Jewish and Catholic groups.
In Seattle, during the first half of 2012 (Jan. 1 through June 30), a total of 50 bias-related incidents were reported to the Seattle Police Department (the department uses “bias” instead of “hate”). Thirty-three of the incidents were determined to be crimes, 17 of which were the crime of “malicious harassment,” according to the department. A total of eight (24 percent) criminal cases were cleared for arrest, three of which were felonies.
“I personally believe that America will be more accepting of Arab Americans in due course,” said Huda Giddens, president of the Arab Center of Washington. “It is a matter of becoming more familiarized with the richness and beauty of Arab culture.”
Giddens said her organization educates the public, which fosters more understanding. Other groups of multiple religions do similar work. On Nov. 8 at the University of Washington, the Jewish student group Hillel and the Muslim Students Association (MSA) held an interfaith social for women. The evening started at the Islamic House near campus and hopped to the nearby Hillel facility, giving both groups an opportunity to experience the others’ “turf.” Participants then enjoyed dinner and a movie together. The organizations plan to host similar events in the future.
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