New York, NY, June 5, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed an FBI Advisory Policy Board (APB) recommendation today that the FBI separately collect and report hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Arabs, and Hindus as part of its annual national data collection program mandated by the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA). The League urged FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III to promptly approve the APB recommendation and begin implementation of the new mandate.
Abraham H.Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
We welcome the APB’s recommendation that the FBI separately collect and report information about hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Arabs, and Hindus as part of the HCSA.
Unfortunately, there is specific, demonstrated evidence that Sikh, Arab, and Hindu individuals and institutions have been targeted for violence and vandalism because of their religious practices, appearance, and apparel – including distinctive beards, turbans, traditional forehead art, or head coverings. As evidenced by the tragic bias-motivated murders of six Sikh worshippers at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August and many other acts of hate over the past decade, there is substantial evidence that these communities have been targeted for bias-motivated violence.
A mandate that the FBI expand their fine HCSA work to begin collecting specific data on hate crimes directed against individuals on the basis of these personal characteristics will increase public awareness of these crimes, encourage victims to report these crimes, and expand existing engagement and relationships between law enforcement authorities and these communities.
We stand ready to assist the FBI and the Department of Justice in promptly implementing this new change – including working with these communities to provide education, training, and outreach for law enforcement officials about these crimes.
ADL had urged this action in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee (PDF) in September, 2012, following the tragic murder of six Sikh worshipers at their Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin last August. Last month, the League coordinated a letter to APB members from 79 national civil rights, religious, education, civic, and professional organizations urging this action.