August 23, 2012 (Washington, DC) – Nineteen U.S. Senators, led by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, issued a bipartisan letter to Attorney General Eric Holder today, urging the Justice Department to track hate crimes against Sikhs.
Pointing to the August 5th hate 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 the FBI track hate crimes against Sikhs is a longstanding demand of the Sikh Coalition. In April, working with the Sikh Coalition, Congressman Joseph Crowley led over 90 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, calling on the Justice Department to begin tracking hate crimes against Sikhs.
The Sikh Coalition is grateful to concerned community members for making phone calls and signing petitions to their members of Congress in support of this important effort. Your voices made a difference.
We are also grateful to the 100+ members of Congress who have supported our call for improved data collection by the Justice Department. 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. Now is the time for the Justice Department and the FBI to act.