Department of Justice Will Go After Anti-Muslim Hate Speech

The Department of Justice will go after hate speech.

“Obviously this is a country that is based on free speech,” Lynch told the audience at the Muslim Advocates dinner in Arlington, VA. “But when that edges towards violence…we will take action.”

Since 9/11, Lynch says that the Department of Justice has investigated more than 11,000 acts of anti-Muslim rhetoric, which have led to 45 prosecutions. “I think sadly, that number is going to rise,” said Lynch.

In recent weeks, Donald Trump advocated for a national registry of Muslim Americans -- which he later denied -- and claimed that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated after the September 11 attacks.

But Lynch says that language generates fear.

“When you feel that fear, that sense of lack of control, and the inability to do something about it, you start to spin and try to find ways that you think will be the easy fix…anti-Muslim rhetoric becomes that path,” said Lynch. “We also will not give into fear.”

Get real-time updates as this story unfolds. To start, just "star" this story in ABC News' phone app. Download ABC News for iPhone here or ABC News for Android here.