The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued its final report on "Combating Religious Discrimination Today" in March 2016. The report emerged from an inter-agency community engagement initiative to promote religious freedom, challenge religious discrimination and enhance enforcement of religion-based hate crimes. Several challenges were identified in efforts to overcome religion-based hate crimes, including: a lack of clear, consistent, and accessible data to track hate crime reporting and prosecutions; an uptick in attacks on Muslims and those perceived to be Muslims since the September 11 terror attack; under-reporting of religion-based hate crimes, and; hate crimes targeting places of worship.
The report recommended: making improvements to the online presentation of available hate crime data; the strengthening of hate crime data collection by law enforcement; enhancing awareness of federal resources for the protection of places of worship; increased communication by the DOJ about hate crime prosecutions and judicial outcomes; strengthening hate crime training efforts; strengthening religious communities' relationships with law enforcement, and; facilitating inter-faith dialogue and communication.
Consequently, in July, the DOJ updated its website to ensure that communities know about its work to combat hate violence and enforce federal hate crime laws.