The FBI has announced that its mechanism for gathering reports on hate crimes against Sikhs, Hindus and Arab Americans is operational.
Quantifying is an important step on the road to understanding a problem and then solving it. The FBI announced in 2013 it would add these groups, responding to a request from Congress.
There is an irony in the change. Sikhs, Hindus and Arab Americans have been attacked by misinformed people who, acting on stereotypes, meant to attack Muslims, a group already on the FBI list. According to MSNBC, “The manual now also includes guidelines on distinguishing between anti-Arab, anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim, and anti-Sikh hate crimes.”
Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, has proposed such a change since 2010. On the group’s website, he writes, “Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, South Asian, and Arab Americans have disproportionately faced senseless violence motivated by hate in recent years.”
Distinctions are addressed in Bias Busters guides “100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans,” “100 Questions and Answers About Indian Americans” and “100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans.”