Resolution against hate crimes targeting Sikh-Americans moved

Washington: Cutting across party lines, a group of over 80 lawmakers has introduced a key resolution in the US House of Representatives, lauding contributions of the Sikh-American community and seeking for the first time documentation of hate crimes against them.

The resolution introduced by top Congressmen, including Joe Crowley and Howard Berman, yesterday condemned a slew of attacks against Sikhs and their religious institutions over the past year, including the August 5 gurdwara shooting at Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which killed six worshippers.

It came hours after the House passed a resolution introduced by Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan condemning the Wisconsin gurdwara.

The new Congressional resolution gives fresh support to a public call for the Department of Justice to begin collecting comprehensive data on hate crimes committed against Sikhs.

In April, 93 members of Congress signed a letter urging the FBI to document and quantify the commission of hate crimes against Sikh-Americans.

“This resolution recognises that America is proud of the Sikh-American community, their hundred year history in this country and their countless achievements and contributions to the nation,” Crowley said.

“Tragically, the brutal attack in Oak Creek and attacks over the previous year shed light on the ongoing threats faced by Sikh-Americans in the United States. Unfortunately, this was not a one-time event and what’s clear is that there is a disturbing and violent trend that must be confronted and brought to an end,” he said.

“While there is much more that must be done, this measure sends a strong signal that Congress stands behind the Sikh-American community and that we must take greater strides in working to prevent crimes against Sikhs. That includes documenting hate crimes against Sikhs, something which has not happened in the past,” he added.