Sikhs are hundreds of times more likely than their fellow Americans to experience hate crimes because of their distinct appearance, but many of these crimes go unreported, and government officials have neglected to collect accurate data about the problem. Since 9/11, dozens of Sikhs have been assaulted because of their appearance, and many have lost friends and loved ones to hate. We solemnly remember Balbir Singh Sodhi in Mesa, Arizona; Gurmej Singh Atwal and Surinder Singh in Elk Grove, California; and Satwant Singh Kaleka, Suveg Singh Khattra, Ranjit Singh, Sita Singh, Prakash Singh, and Paramjit Kaur in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Hate crime prevention requires persistence and vigilance. The Sikh Coalition has worked diligently to educate policymakers at all levels of government about anti-Sikh hate crimes. We have encouraged community members to document all hate incidents—including non-criminal activity such as hate speech—through our Report Hate website to help law enforcement agencies better understand the full magnitude of the problem. In 2013, after a successful three-year campaign by the Sikh Coalition, the FBI agreed to track anti-Sikh hate crimes, giving policymakers official data about anti-Sikh violence for the first time in our nation’s history.
- legal intakes a year
- anti-Sikh hate crimes since 2001
- x time more likely to be the victim of a hate crime
Because of the inclusion of a “Sikh” category in the FBI’s hate crime data, police officers should be more vigilant in protecting our community and reporting anti-Sikh hate crimes. Over time, these measures will reduce the risk that Sikhs will experience hate crime and help create a climate where Sikh Americans can fearlessly maintain their articles of faith.
How You Can Help
Report Hate Incidents to the Sikh Coalition.