Hate Crime Analysis
When thinking about hate crime the first thing that would come to mind is crimes against an individual based on the color of their skin. Most often this will be between Blacks and Whites. However there are many other factors that can subject to being a victim of hate crime. This essay will aim to highlight some of these for a specific group citing specific examples of a hate crime, restorative justice models that can be applied to the group.
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It will also further go on to explain the benefits and challenges with the use of that particular restorative model, along with a contemporary research method that could be used to measure the victimization of this particular group. Finally an attempt will be made to link the victimization of this group with the criminological theories currently being studied. A group of people who often face hate crimes are Muslims. Although not as popular as some other forms of hate crime that frequent newspapers or news stations.
It is also one that in some ways has become a taboo subject when it is brought up around some politicians, community leaders, and private citizens. One of the main factors that have put the Muslim community in the firing line for hate crime is the events of September 11 2001. The leaders and perpetrators behind the attacks were Muslims and as such the religion has taken a brunt of the fallout for the attacks. Statistic by the FBI in 2011 shows that 12. 5% of hate crime of a religious cont want aimed at Muslims (U. S. Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2012).
One example of such crime is that of Mark Stroman in 2001. Stroman on September 21st 2001 walks into a gas station and opened fire on individuals he believed were muslins and Arabs (Somanader, 2011). Stroman killed two people and seriously injured another. However, only two of Stromans victims were actually Muslims (Somanader, 2011). Stroman, after admitting his crime has since been sentenced to death by a Texas court. Another example of hate crimes against Muslims was the attack on Bashir Ahmad, who was the victim of a stabbing by an unknown assailant in November 2012.
A devout Muslim, basher was attacked outside a Mosque in Queens, New York by the assailant. Bashir suffered multiple stab wounds in the attack as well as verbal abuse from the perpetrator (Chinese, 2012). Both these offense are just a few of the hate crimes against Muslims that actually get reported. There are many more examples such as these that go unreported and as such do not reflect in any statistics that exist on hate crimes against Muslims. One common thing between the two attacks is that both victims do not hold and sort of ill feeling towards their attackers.
They both accept that their religion has been placed in the firing line by the action of some of the more radical believers in the religion, which is not a true depiction or representation of what the religion is about. And both have stayed steadfast and true to their religion despite the attacks. Thinking about restorative justice models that could be applied to this group one would have to lean towards education. The aim of restorative justice is to give the victims a voice and hope to stop future acts from being committed. To address the issue of hate crimes, the source of the problem must be identified.
Such as what makes the group/individual a target and them work toward setting in place the necessary elements that could counteract hate crimes against them. Some of the elements include the following: * Education: By educating specific individuals and populations that ere underserved to recognize and report hate crime. As well as the educating those who commit hate crime about the religion/group they are targeting. * Assist Victims: Helping victims to identify and access services that are available to them as victims of a hate crime.
These resources could be cultural or linguistic. * Advocate for community: In order to reduce hate crime in the community there must be programs that advocate for the victims and the community. * Recognition: The depth of the problem must be recognized by leaders within the community and addressed accordingly through funding increase programs in the community. These are just a few ways that the Los Angeles County Commission has put forward for restoration justice for hate crimes (“The Hate Crime Victim Assistance and Advocacy Initiative”, n. ). Partnering with local police departments would also be a way to incorporate restorative justice. As with any other justice models there will be benefits and challenges. The benefits of the suggested elements above are, many will benefit from the extended knowledge provided through education. There will be an increase in understanding on the part of the victim and the offender that will hopefully reduce the hate and increase tolerance. Challenges that may arise would be how to get the two groups to sit and talk amicably.
It would also be a challenge to figure out what would break the ice between the two groups that would make understanding each other much easier. In order to measure the victimization of Muslims a suggest research instrument that would be recommend is the use of qualitative and quantitative research. These could be in the form of surveys that uses both figures and in-depth question that would allow the researcher to have an idea of what percentage of the community is affected.
The in depth question would further allow the researcher to determine the reasons behind the attack and the effect the attack had in the victim (Kraska & Neuman, 2008). One of the most applicable theories that could be applied to explain the victimization of this particular group is the conflict theory. Emerging from the labeling theory the conflict theory would best explain why this particular group would fit in theory. This theory aims to give minority groups a voice through the movements such as the civil rights movement and other movement that fought for equality (Williams & McShane, 2010).
Even though this is an argument about religion, some inequality exists in the way the Muslims are treated throughout the United States. To conclude, like many other groups Muslims have the right to express and practice their religion without experiencing any repercussions. However because of the acts of a few individuals the entire Muslim community suffers. Despite the challenges that arises from attempts to find restorative justice for the victims of hate crime the courage and understanding shown to the attackers by the two victims mentioned earlier should be admired.
It is also an example of how knowledge, time and education can change the minds and hearts of the most hardened offender in hate crimes as with the case of Mark Stroman, who changed his prospective on Muslims after the surviving victim from his attack fought to save him from execution.