August 4, 2013 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Washington, Untied States (August 04,2013): It is learnt that the US Justice Department announced it will begin tracking crimes committed against Sikhs and six other groups as hate crimes. An announcement in this regard came on August 02, 2013 – ahead of anniversary of the Oak Creek Sikh Gurdwara tragedy on August 05, 2013.
It is notable that the US Attorney general Eric Holder, who made an announcement in this regard on August 02, 2013 said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Robert Mueller had approved a recommendation from the agency’s advisory policy board to track hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus, Arabs, Buddhists, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Orthodox Christians.
“As we look toward the future – I’m confident that this change will help us better understand the law enforcement challenges we face,” Eric Holder wrote in a Justice Department blog post, that has already been reproduced on Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) for the information of readers/visitors of SSN.
As per media reports the US Justice Department decision was commended by the community as also several lawmakers including the lone Indian-American House member Ami Bera and the first Hindu-American legislator Tulsi Gabbard.
Other lawmakers applauding the decision were Joe Crowley, Eliot Engel, Bill Pascrell, Michael Honda, Adam Schiff, Gary Peters and Eric Swalwell
“One year after the Oak Creek killings, we are thrilled the FBI has agreed to begin tracking and documenting hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu and Arab Americans,” they said in a statement.
“This groundbreaking decision to collect valuable hate crime data will go a long way towards protecting communities living in fear of being victims of a hate crime.”
Amardeep Singh, programme director of the Sikh Coalition, said that while he welcomed the announcement as a “critical first step,” the underlying conditions that caused the killings remain.
“The last year has once again seen violent shootings and beatings of Sikhs throughout the country,” he said. “It will take more than tracking hate crime statistics to stem the tide.”
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