Sikh Coalition appeals for support to FBI tracking hate crimes

Group of 10 US House of Rep. trying to persuade FBI.

Bureau Report

WASHINGTON, DC: A group of 10 representatives in the U.S. Congress, led by Congressman Joe Crowley, is making a final push to persuade the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, and the Sikh Coalition is urging the community to write to their member of Congress to make it a reality.

According to Sikh Coalition surveys in New York and California, up to 10 percent of Sikhs may have experienced hate crimes since 9/11. Compared to other communities, Sikhs may be hundreds of times more likely to experience hate crimes in their lifetimes. Even still, although the FBI tracks hate crimes against other communities, it does not track hate crimes against Sikhs, says the Coalition.

It first raised this issue in January 2011. Since then, the community has experienced numerous hate crimes, including the suspected hate murder of two elderly Sikhs in Elk Grove, California; an assault on a Sikh cab driver in Sacramento, California; an assault on a Sikh transit worker in New York City; an assault on a Sikh cab driver in Seattle, Washington; and the massacre of six worshippers at the Oak Creek Gurdwara.

Last year, their request for Sikh hate crime tracking was endorsed by the Community Relations Service and Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

It was in January, 2011 that the Sikh Coalition formally requested that FBI track anti-Sikh hate crimes. In May of that year, it again reiterated its request for federal interagency meeting. In April, 2012, over 90 members of U.S. House of Representatives endorsed the campaign, and last August, nearly 20 members of the U.S. Senate endorsed it as well. The same month, the Coalition rallied more than 150 organizations calling for Senate hearing on hate crimes, and it paid off, when in September, the Senate held a historic hearing on hate crimes in response to the Coalition’s request.

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