Hate crimes against Muslims have spiked by 67 percent in the United States in 2015, reaching the highest level since 2001, the year of mass killing that was the Sept 11 attacks.
But Muslim rights groups say the 2015 statistics are "just a fraction" of the hate crimes the U.S. has witnessed in 2016
"I think these statistics are just a fraction of what we see on the ground right now," Ibrahim Hooper, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told Al Jazeera.
"We witnessed a spark in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in late 2015, and this number increased further during Donald Trump's election campaign. We expect the situation to get worse in the future, based on the fact that Donald Trump had mainstreamed Islamophobia."
The statistics come from a report [PDF] released Monday by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), overviewing hate crime data from 2015. There were 257 documented hate crimes against Muslims in the U.S. in 2015, up from 154 in 2014.
"That is the highest number since 2001, when the al Qaeda attacks on New York and elsewhere drove the number to its highest ever level, 481 hate crimes," Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement.
The report comes at the heels of the election of Donald Trump, who has been heavily criticized for using xenophobic and Islamophobic rhetoric in his campaign. Since his victory, activist groups have noted a spike in hate crimes against Muslims and other minority groups in the U.S.
Trump's appointment of Stephen Bannon – the chairman of Breitbart News, who has been accused of touting white nationalism– as White House chief strategist has drawn further concern from Muslim groups in the U.S.
Although Muslims saw the largest increase in hate crimes, Jews remain the biggest target of hate crimes in the U.S. Anti-Jewish hate crimes increased by 9 percent and accounted for more than 50 percent of religiously motivated hate crimes in the country.
There are approximately 5.3 million Jews in the U.S. compared to about 3.3 million Muslims.
Overall, hate crimes increased by 6.8 percent, with 5,850 incidents reported in 2015 compared to 5,470 in 2014. The largest number of hate crimes were perpetuated against Black or African Americans at 52.7 percent.