SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In response to an increase in hate crimes across the country, state Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, recently backed legislation to increase penalties for hate crimes targeting places of worship in Illinois.
“Religiously motivated hate crimes are increasing at an alarming rate, and we must act now to ensure that churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship are kept safe,” Mussman said. “Places of worship are meant to be sanctuaries, and people should not have to be fearful when praying alongside their families and members of their community.”
According to an annual report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there has been a 17% increase in hate crimes since 2016. House Bill 38 strengthens sentences for a murder committed in a church, mosque, synagogue or other place of worship. The legislation also increases penalties for injuring a person in a religious institution and carrying a gun or other weapon into a house of worship with the goal of harming someone.
“Our country was founded on religious freedom for all, and we need to make sure we are protecting everyone’s right to worship freely and safely,” Mussman said. “These hate crimes are plaguing our communities and it is time that we strengthened repercussions for committing these egregious attacks.”
For more information, please contact Rep. Mussman’s constituent service office at 847-923-9104 or StateRepMussman@gmail.com.