Hate Crimes (called bias-motivated crimes in certain states) is of major concern all over the world. Instances of hate crimes range from the Roman persecution of Christians, the Ottoman genocide of Armenians, and the Nazi assault over the Jews in the past to the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and genocide in Rwanda in recent times.
Statistics reveal that racial and religious biases are the most common hate crimes in the United States. Examples of hate crimes in the United States include lynching of African Americans, cross burnings to drive black families from predominantly white neighborhoods, assaults on white people traveling to predominantly black neighborhoods, assaults on gay, lesbian and transgender people. Data from law enformcement agencies across the United States is gathered using a system of Uniform Crime Reports.
The perpetrator of a hate crime targets a victim merely because he or she belongs to a certain social group, usually defined by race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, gender identity, or political affiliation.
A hate crime can occur in two forms: it can be a criminal physical act motivated by hatred of one or more of the specified conditions or it can be hate speech, where the speech is defined as crime. The concept of hate speech is highly controversial, as criminalizing speech can be seen as restricting the freedom of speech.