November 15, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – On Monday, the Sikh Coalition reminded the American public that newly published FBI hate crime statistics are based on a flawed reporting system.

Click here to read coverage in CNN.
Click here to listen to coverage on NPR.

In 2016, the FBI documented 6,121 hate crimes in the United States, including seven hate crimes against Sikhs. Although the overall figure represents a nearly five percent increase over the previous year, it is based on voluntary reports by law enforcement agencies. Many of these agencies do not bother to report hate crimes to the FBI.

On the other hand, a June 2017 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that there are 250,000 hate crime victimizations in the U.S. each year.

“FBI hate crime data represents the tip of the iceberg and understates the magnitude of hate crime in America,” said Sim J. 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.”

The Sikh Coalition estimates that Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to experience hate crimes than the average American. In 2016, the Sikh Coalition received legal intakes from 15 Sikhs who believed they were subjected to hate incidents. Since the start of 2017, the Sikh Coalition has received 13 similar intakes.

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

Take Action

1. Report Hate Crimes

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over half of hate crimes are not reported to the police. If you have been a victim of violence or received threats of violence, please dial 911 immediately and fill out our legal intake form to request legal assistance. You can also contact the Sikh Coalition at 212-655-3095 or legal@sikhcoalition.org.

2. Display our Hate Crime Poster at Gurdwara

Help us educate our community about hate crimes. Request a free copy of our hate crime poster for display at your gurdwara by emailing education@sikhcoalition.org.

As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.