Hindu Americans Welcome FBI's "Yes" to Anti-Hindu Hate Crime Data Category
Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2013) - The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) welcomed the FBI Advisory Policy Board’s (APB) recommendation that the FBI collect and report data regarding anti-Hindu, anti-Sikh, and anti-Arab hate crimes as part of its annual national data collection program mandated by the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA).
Over the past several months, Hindu Americans and supporters of the community lit up their Congressional leaders' phone lines in a nationwide campaign to encourage support for this initiative. The final decision to add the categories was taken just yesterday by the Advisory Policy Board, a subsidiary of the Department of Justice.
“We hope Director Robert Mueller approves the APB recommendation quickly so that they may be implemented without further delay,” said Samir Kalra, Esq., HAF Director and Senior Human Rights Fellow. “Law-enforcement agencies will now be better able to track and assess trends in hate crimes against these communities and, most importantly, provide better protection.”
HAF previously submitted comments to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board, specifically focusing on the importance of creating an anti-Hindu hate crime category and its significance for tracking hate crimes against Hindu American institutions and individuals. The primary impetus for the proposal’s inclusion of an anti-Hindu hate crime category, HAF’s legal team said, may have been its comprehensive submission of written on the record testimony to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on “Hate Crimes and the Threat of Domestic Extremism,” spearheaded by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), in order to shed light on the impact of hate crimes on the Hindu American community.
“We thank Members of Congress and organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), who supported the call for broadening the tracking of hate crimes to accurately reflect the targeting of Hindu Americans and the FBI’s Advisory Board for making the right call,” said Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF’s Executive Director and Legal Counsel. “The Advisory Board’s decision was particularly significant given the recent tragic death of Sunando Sen, a Hindu man who was pushed in front of a subway train in New York.”