November 19, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) – This week, the FBI released its annual report on hate crimes, which for the very first time, includes reported hate crimes committed against Sikhs. According to the FBI, there were six hate crimes committed against Sikhs in 2015.
“We commend the FBI for including reported hate crimes committed against Sikhs in its annual report. However, we believe this number is significantly under-inclusive, and urge the FBI to make hate crime reporting by law enforcement mandatory not voluntary.”
Arjun Singh, Director of Law and Policy at the Sikh Coalition
The Sikh Coalition worked closely with the FBI to ensure that hate crimes against Sikhs were included and reported by the FBI in its annual report. We have long believed that data helps drive change, and with better statistics, that law enforcement would be better able to target cities and localities acutely vulnerable to hate violence. We are now working with the FBI to ensure that they train local and state law enforcement on accurate hate crime reporting, and call for reporting to be mandatory not voluntary, so that the data is robust and complete.
We continue to provide free legal assistance to Sikhs who have experienced backlash and discrimination. While we cannot accept all cases, our legal team conducts dozens of intakes every year related to profiling, discrimination and hate violence.
We also urge community members to review our FAQ guide on hate crimes, hate speech and on how to report incidents to authorities and the Sikh Coalition. Please also view our printable hate crime poster, which is available in both English and Punjabi. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition continues to provide educational brochures that quickly introduce non-Sikhs to the Sikh faith and community. This resource is available in 15 different languages. To get copies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we encourage all Sikhs to practice their faith freely and fearlessly.