Hate Crime Prevention

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, MPAC was inundated with reports of hate crimes/incidents and discrimination, prompting the emergence of a department specializing in victim assistance. Staff and volunteers laid the foundation for a program equipped to assist victims of hate acts, educate the American Muslim community on their rights, and educate the broader American public on American Muslims.

By December 2001, MPAC's Hate Crimes Prevention Department was officially established with the generous support of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations. As one of six partners of the County's Hate Crime Victim Assistance and Advocacy Initiative (HCVAAI), the Department serves the community by focusing its efforts in victim assistance, advocacy, and hate prevention.

Post 9/11 policies, such as the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act, the freezing of assets of Muslim charities, special registration required of a select group of immigrants have cast suspicion on the Muslim, South Asian, Arab and immigrant communities.

Furthermore, news media falls short of accurate and adequate reporting on mainstream Muslims and their positive contributions to society on a consistent basis. The use of inappropriate terminology such as "Islamic terrorism" has cultivated fear of Islam and its followers. Therefore, religious stereotypes, discrimination, lack of information about Islam, and the public's negative perception of Muslims have caused hostility against Muslims to escalate in recent years.

We focus on three key areas in Hate Crime Prevention:

  • Victim Assistance: By fielding calls through our 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-898-3558) and our direct line, MPAC guides victims of hate acts and discrimination to the appropriate resource (i.e., Medical Care, Legal Consultation, Counseling, etc).
  • Advocacy: An extension of victim assistance is advocacy, such as contacting law enforcement to advocate that applicable cases be pursued as hate-motivated crimes and supporting bills that benefit victims.
  • Hate Prevention: As a tool of prevention, MPAC strives to educate the community about hate acts and the issues surrounding hate and racism.

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