19 US Senators Call for Tracking Sikh Hate Crimes

Nineteen senators, led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, issued a bipartisan letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Aug. 23, urging the Justice Department to track hate crimes against Sikhs.

Pointing to the Aug. 5 attack against Sikh worshipers in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and the persistence of hate crimes against Sikh Americans, the senators noted that “Sikhs are particularly susceptible to violence committed because of their Sikh identity.” 

According to the letter, “[i]t is important to collect data on hate crimes committed against Sikhs because this data can identify trends and help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies properly allocate resources.”

The request that the Justice Department and FBI track hate crimes against Sikhs is a longstanding demand of the Sikh Coalition, the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organization. In April, working with the Sikh Coalition, Congressman Joseph Crowley led over 90 members of the House of Representatives, calling on the Justice Department to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs.

“We are grateful that more than 100 members of Congress have supported our call for improved data collection by the Justice Department,” said Rajdeep Singh, director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition. “It is impossible to address a problem unless it is being measured, and Sikhs who experience hate crimes at the very least deserve the dignity of being a statistic.”

PTI Adds: In the aftermath of the shooting inside a gurdwara in Wisconsin, a group of more than 150 organizations have called for a congressional hearing on hate crimes.

Led by the Sikh Coalition, the 150 organizations representing a wide range of faith-based and rights advocacy groups, sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee Aug. 21 to conduct hearings on hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups in the United States.

 

You can read the rest of this article at: http://www.indiawest.com/news/6363-19-u-s-senators-call-for-tracking-sikh-hate-crimes.html

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