In the wake of recent vandalism of religious venues, discriminatory publicity materials, attacks on innocent individuals, Oak Creek shootings, and Boston Marathon bombing, there is growing concern about the safety and rights of all community members. Those perceived to be Arab, Sikh, Hindu, or Muslim are increasing vulnerable to hateful speech and violence more than a decade after 9/11. Yet the FBI currently only tracks hate crimes against Muslims thereby frustrating reform efforts by agencies and leaders to adequately address and prevent hate crimes targeting various ethnic and religious groups.
The FBI Advisory Policy Board recently voted to track hate crimes against Arabs, Hindus, and Sikhs in addition to Muslims starting in 2015.
The South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (SABA-NC) along with other bar associations and community partners hosted a discussion regarding the importance of a comprehensive tracking system (see video above). Speakers included Zahra Billoo, Executive Director of Council for American Islamic Relations; Samir Kalra, Director and Senior Fellow for Hindu American Foundation; Harsimran Kaur, Legal Director of Sikh Coalition; and Angela Chan, Senior Staff Attorney for Asian Law Caucus.
CO-SPONSORS: North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA), National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), SABA Sacramento, and SABA San Diego.