5% spike in hate crimes against Sikhs and Hin­dus in US last year

Sikh coali­tion con­tested agency fig­ures say­ing cases were be­ing un­der re­ported

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Punjab - Press Trust of In­dia let­ter­schd@hin­dus­tan­times.com

In 2016, the Sikh Coali­tion re­ceived le­gal in­takes from 15 Sikhs who be­lieved they were sub­jected to hate in­ci­dents. In 2017, there have been 13 sim­i­lar in­takes so far. SIM SINGH, Sikh Coali­tion’s na­tional ad­vo­cacy man­ager

WASHINGTON: Over 6,000 hate crimes, in­clud­ing against Hin­dus and Sikhs, have been re­ported in the US last year, ac­cord­ing to the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) sta­tis­tics which showed about 5% jump in such in­ci­dents from 2015.

A ma­jor­ity of them were mo­ti­vated by anti-black or African-Amer­i­can bias and were anti-Jewish, while a quar­ter of them were anti-Mus­lim.

In its lat­est an­nual fig­ures re­leased on Mon­day, the FBI said in 2016, it reg­is­tered 12 an­tiHindu hate crimes and seven anti-Sikh hate crimes. One hate crime of­fence was recorded against the Bud­dhist com­mu­nity.

While 3.1% of the hate crimes re­sulted from anti-Asian bias, an­other 1.3% were clas­si­fied as anti-Arab bias.

There were 6,121 hate crime in­ci­dents recorded last year, an al­most 5% rise from 2015 and a 10% in­crease from 2014, the re­port said.

“No per­son should have to fear be­ing vi­o­lently at­tacked be­cause of who they are, what they be­lieve, of how they wor­ship,” US at­tor­ney gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions said af­ter FBI data showed a 4.2% in­crease in hate crime in­ci­dents and a 6.3% in­crease in hate crime of­fences from 2015 to 2016.

How­ever, Sikh Coali­tion con­tested the FBI fig­ures ar­gu­ing that this was be­ing un­der re­ported. “The FBI data show­ing 6,121 hate crime in­ci­dents and seven anti-Sikh hate crime in­ci­dents in 2016 rep­re­sents the tip of the ice­berg,” said Sim Singh, the Sikh Coali­tion’s na­tional ad­vo­cacy man­ager.

“The only way to bridge the data gap is for law en­force­ment agen­cies to adopt manda­tory hate crime re­port­ing,” he said.

In a state­ment, Sikh Coali­tion said that es­ti­mates that Sikhs re­main hun­dreds of times more likely to ex­pe­ri­ence hate crimes than the av­er­age Amer­i­can be­cause of their small pop­u­la­tion and the fre­quency with which they are tar­geted.

In March, a Sikh man was shot in Kent, Washington, af­ter the at­tacker told him to “go back to your own coun­try”.

In 2016, the Sikh Coali­tion re­ceived le­gal in­takes from 15 Sikhs who be­lieved they were sub­jected to hate in­ci­dents.

Since the start of 2017, there have been 13 sim­i­lar in­takes, it claimed.

“If law en­force­ment agen­cies fail to doc­u­ment the true ex­tent of hate crimes against our com­mu­ni­ties, our na­tion will have a hard time mo­bil­is­ing the po­lit­i­cal will and re­sources nec­es­sary to pre­vent and com­bat the prob­lem,” said Singh.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 5,00,000 Sikhs in the US.

Al­though Sikh Amer­i­cans have been re­peat­edly tar­geted for hate crimes since the 9/11 at­tacks, the FBI agreed to track anti-Sikh hate crimes in re­sponse to a lob­by­ing cam­paign in the af­ter­math of a 2012 neo-Nazi at­tack on a gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin, it said.

The agency of­fi­cially be­gan col­lect­ing data on anti-Sikh hate crimes in 2015.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.