The Department of Justice met with Sikh community leaders in Charlotte this week as concern grows about the community being targeted by hate crimes.
Data released just last month by the FBI found Sikhs are the second biggest targets for religious bias crimes after the Jewish community.
Out of 1005 incidents connected to religion in 2021:
- Anti-Jewish incidents: 31.9%
- Anti-Sikh incidents: 21.3%
- Anti-Islamic incidents: 9.5%
- Anti-Catholic incidents: 6.1%
- Anti-Eastern Orthodox (Russian, Greek, Other): 6.5%
“People in communities across the Western District have the right to live their lives free from fear, violence, and intimidation. This fundamental right is guaranteed and protected by the Constitution. Unfortunately, certain groups are frequent targets of acts of hate and abuse,” said US Attorney Dena J. King in a statement.
The meeting at the Gurdwara Khalsa Darbar in Charlotte is the first in a number of meetings planned as part of the Justice Department’s “United Against Hate” (UAH) initiative.
The program announced in September is part of an initiative to attack the rise in hate.
“The purpose of this initiative is to protect our communities, educate members on their rights and the relevant law, provide an avenue for reporting hate crimes and incidents of hate, and increase trust in our criminal justice system,” said King.
Assistant US Attorneys with experience prosecuting hate crimes took part in the meeting along with the FBI and local law enforcement. Authorities explained the definition of hate crimes versus hate incidents and the importance of reporting acts of hate to authorities.
“We have always been able to reach out to federal law enforcement for assistance with any challenge our community faces, whether it is school bullying, diversity training at the airport, security of the Gurdwara, or civil rights matters,” said Pushpinder Garcha, a representative of the United Sikhs, a civil and human rights non-profit affiliated with the United Nations.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please take advantage of a $30,000 matching grant challenge. An anonymous donor has offered to match dollar for dollar every tax-deductible donation made to Asian American Media Inc from November 1, 2023 until the end of the year. The money will be used to fund the addition of a new reporter and to produce content for limited English-speaking Asian immigrants. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.