Mapping Hate Crime Reporting and Legislation: A Multiscalar Perspective on the Spatiality of Islamophobia

Authors: Lily Herbert*, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Topics: Political Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Social Geography
Keywords: hate crime, islamophobia, legal geographies, feminist political geography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Empire Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper addresses spatial patterns in hate crime reporting and legislation across the United States. Drawing on official data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, as well as two other datasets from the Council of American Islamic Relations and Mapping Islamophobia project, I present maps to discuss spatial trends in anti-Muslim hate crimes from 1990 to 2016, with an emphasis on the last three years. These maps are then compared with a second set of maps showing disparities in hate crime legislation on the state and local level in the US. The comparison shows how spatial analysis contributes to nuanced examination of the role of the state in mitigating Islamophobic violence, and compiling statistics to make this violence more visible at the local, state and national scales. In conversation with literature on violence against minorities, as well as on Islamophobia during the current US administration, this paper’s spatial analysis provides a critical multiscalar perspective on how official hate crime statistics are compiled with respect to anti-Muslim violence. It utilizes cartography to illuminate the factors—including legislation—that may prevent or encourage victims to report anti-Muslim violence, and state agencies to address and record their reports.

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