News East West
NEW YORK: One hundred and nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday issued a new letter calling on the FBI to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus, and Arab-Americans, the way it does for other communities.
The FBI is scheduled to make a decision about this issue in June.
According to Sikh Coalition, which lobbies for the rights of the Sikh community, community surveys in New York and California show that Sikhs may be hundreds of times more likely than their fellow Americans to experience hate crimes because of their religion.
“We believe that accurately tracking these crimes will strengthen diagnostic and deterrence efforts and help law enforcement officials proactively address these challenges,” the Sikh Coalition said in a press statement on Thursday.
The Coalition, which started this initiative with US lawmakers over two years ago, said, “We are also grateful to New York Congressman Joseph Crowley and his colleagues in the U.S. Congress for their leadership in the cause of accurately documenting and ending hate crimes against our communities.”
Last month, 26 US Senators had also jointly written to Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller, asking to them to order agencies under them to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindu and Arab Americans in the same way other communities are treated in the FBI’s hate crime tracking records.
“We write to respectfully request that you make three additions to the Hate Crime Incident Report form (1-699) as soon as possible. In short, we believe that the form should be revised to collect data on hate crimes motivated by bias against Sikh Americans, Hindu Americans, and Arab Americans,’’ the senators had said in their letter to the two federal agencies.