Difference Between Terrorism and Hate Crime

The rising threat of racial assault, along with rising waves of discrimination and racism, has led to serious crime and violence in major parts of the United States and Europe.

While the two charges may appear to be the same, there are legal differences that distinguish hate crime from terrorism and, as a result, decide the sentence.

The frequency of hate crimes and acts of terror has tragically increased in recent years, and political measures to combat racism and sectarian sentiment have often proved futile.

Terrorism vs Hate Crime

The main difference between terrorism and hate crime is that Terrorist activities are deliberate acts of violence carried out against non-combatant targets for political or religious reasons.

Terrorist acts are often carried out by members or affiliates of terrorist organizations, hiding radical ideas.

While extremist ideologies can lead to hate crimes, they are more common among individuals who are biased against minorities than members of extremist groups.

Terrorism vs Hate Crime

Terrorism, as the word suggests, is the act of inciting fear among the population. It is a physical and non-physical conflict between individuals, often concentrated in certain places, with the aim of instilling terror into the opposite and the oppressed.

There is no discernible political party among the conflict’s participants.

Any serious crime committed against someone because of hostility or discrimination against that person is called a hate crime. This can be done to a person or a piece of property.

A victim is not always a part of the family that is the object of the animosity. Anyone can become a victim of racism.

Comparison Table Between Terrorism and Hate Crime

Parameters of Comparison TerrorismHate Crime
DefinitionTerrorism is defined as the use of unlawful force and violence against people or property in order to scare or compel a government, the civilians, or any element thereof, in order to achieve political or social goals.A hate crime is a crime against persons, organizations, or communities that are inspired in part or entirely by the offender’s prejudice against color, gender, national or ethnic background, sexual preference, or handicap.
ChargesTerrorism has separate charges.A hate crime has separate no charges.
AnticipateTerrorist attacks can be predicted with ease.Hate crimes are more difficult to predict.
Number of AttacksThe number of terrorist attacks is substantially fewer on average. The number of terrorist attacks is substantially larger on average.
ExtremistExtremist ideas are frequently hidden under terrorist acts.Hate crimes, on the other hand, might be the outcome of extremist views.

What is Terrorism?

Terrorism, or a terrorist assault, is an unplanned and unexpected kind of physical or non-physical, tactical, or even psychological confrontation between citizens of the same or neighboring countries.

Terrorist attacks are almost always harmful to national territory and are usually met with violent counterattacks. In contrast to popular belief, terrorism is not usually motivated by religion.

Terrorism can also be motivated by political or ideological disputes, as well as hatred between perpetrators and civilians. Terrorists are the people who perpetrate terrorism.

A terrorist could be a single person or an organization of like-minded individuals who have banded together to enforce their beliefs by instilling fear and oppression in the general public.

Typically, the perpetrators of a terrorist incident are influential individuals who have risen to prominence through political connections or the illegal acquisition of weapons and transportation.

The participants of terrorist organizations will never be considered rogues by the government because they are not recognized and approved by the government.

In contrast to war with a wider reach, the region of the impact of terrorism is usually limited to a small geographic area. On the other hand, a battle usually does less damage to public property than a terrorist attack.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a discrimination crime in which the victim is singled out because of his or her actual or perceived participation in a socioeconomic group or race.

Perpetrators often hold prejudice against one or more social groups and engage in violent or degrading behavior against one or more members of the group.

Religious, gender identification, gender, race, nationality, handicap, sexuality, citizenship, and attractiveness are among the groups targeted.

The Holocaust, which culminated in the killing of millions of Jews as well as other ethnic minorities on the basis of their ethnicity, is one of the most well-known examples of hate crime.

Most hate crimes, like the Holocaust, are driven by moral and theological intolerance. Hate crime victims are frightened or ridiculed by attackers because they are real or imagined members of a group, often a minority.

A hate crime is considered a major act in the United States.

The statute gives federal authorities more jurisdiction and power to investigate hate crimes, even if local officials opt not to pursue them.

Removes the need that a hate crime victim is engaged in a legally protected activity (such as attending to education) only at the time of the attack and Requires the FBI to keep track of hate crime statistics based on gender identification and gender.

Additionally, many U.S. states have hate crime provisions in their statutes, which can result in penalties and imprisonment due to the nature of the offense.

Main Differences Between Terrorism and Hate Crime

  1. A hate crime is a crime committed against a person, group, or community that is motivated in part or totally by the perpetrator’s prejudice against a certain race, age, ethnic or national origin, culture, gender orientation, or handicap. Terrorism is defined as using unauthorized violence and force against persons or property in order to intimidate or intimidate a government, citizens, or any component thereof to accomplish political or social objectives.
  2. Terrorist attacks are easier to predict than hate crimes, whereas hate crime is difficult to predict.
  3. In comparison to hate crimes, the number of terrorist attacks is far fewer.
  4. Terrorism has its own set of charges, whereas there are no specific charges for a hate crime.
  5. Extremist beliefs are frequently concealed by terrorist attacks. Extremist ideas, on the other hand, can lead to hate crimes.
Difference Between Terrorism and Hate Crime


The legal classifications of terrorism and hate crimes are slightly different.

Domestic terrorism is defined as systemic political violence against non-combat victims perpetrated by local groups or undercover agents over a long period of time, although different U.S. security organizations have slightly different definitions.

Hate crime, on the other hand, is a bias-motivated crime in which victims are selected because of their actual or perceived participation in a social group or race.

Hate crimes and terrorist actions have slightly different consequences, but both can result in capital punishment, as well as a sentence of several years or even life in prison.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0011128715620626
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09546553.2019.1699794
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