Press Esc to close
Sunday 21 September 2014
News updated at 2:07 AM IST
Weather
Max: 27.8°C
Min : 20.6°C
In Bangalore
Sunny day

Call for Congressional hearing on hate crime

Washington, Aug 22, 2012 (PTI)
File Photo

In the aftermath of the shooting inside a Gurdwara in Wisconsin, a group of more than 150 organisations have called for a Congressional hearing on hate crimes.

Six Sikh worshipers, including four Indian nationals, died when an ex-army man went on a shooting spree inside the Gurdwara in Oak Creek city in Wisconsin on August 5.

While the police is yet to determine the reason for the shooting, Sikh advocacy groups have termed it a hate crime.


Led by Washington-based Sikh Coalition, the 150 organisations representing a wide range of faith based and rights advocacy groups, yesterday sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee to conduct hearings on hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups in the US.

Citing the massacre of Sikh worshipers in Oak Creek, and a string of attacks on Muslim communities nationwide during the last month, the letter notes that hate violence continues to affect the lives of thousands of individuals due to their race, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, disability, and immigration status.

"We want to do everything in our power to make sure what happened in Oak Creek never happens to anyone again," said Rajdeep Singh, director of Law and Policy for the Sikh Coalition.

"Given the persistence of hate crimes and sheer number of hate groups in the United States, we want our policymakers to be proactive about uprooting bigotry in the United States.

"As First Lady Michele Obama visits the aggrieved families in Oak Creek this Thursday, we hope that Congress will do its part by looking at ways to improve our nation's hate crime laws," Singh said.

"During the last month alone, six worshipers at a Sikh Gurdwara in Wisconsin were massacred by an attacker with known ties to hate groups, and approximately ten Islamic institutions and Muslim communities in seven states have experienced attacks including vandalism, a suspicious burning, shootings, and the desecration of religious sanctuaries," the letter said.

The letter said according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups in the US (currently numbering over a thousand) has grown by almost 60 per cent since 2000.

In 2010, more than 47 per cent of hate crimes were racially motivated; 20 per cent were motivated by the religion of the victim; 19 per cent were based on sexual orientation and almost 13 per cent of all hate crimes were based on ethnicity or national origin, it said.

"Given the persistence of hate crimes and the proliferation of hate groups, we believe that a hearing is both timely and necessary," the letter said.

We are especially interested in examining the status of the implementation of the Matthew Shepard Act; improvements to hate crime reporting and data collection; and the need for more robust hate crime prevention measures, consistent with protections for First Amendment rights and civil liberties, the organisations said in the letter addressed to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Amitabh Bachchan attends a “Kaun Banega Crorepati” event in Mumbai ...

Amitabh Bachchan attends a “Kaun Banega Crorepati” event in Mumbai ...

Gold medal winner India's Jitu Rai poses at the medal ceremony of Men's 50M Pistol shooting ...

Gold medal winner India's Jitu Rai poses at the medal ceremony of Men's 50M Pistol shooting ...

India's Heena Sindhu  during 10M Air Pistol Women's team qualification shooting ...

India's Heena Sindhu during 10M Air Pistol Women's team qualification shooting ...

Dalai Lama during inaugural speech at two-day meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions of India ...

Dalai Lama during inaugural speech at two-day meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions of India ...

John Abraham along with Spanish football player Joan Capdevila during a press conference in ...

John Abraham along with Spanish football player Joan Capdevila during a press conference in ...

India's badminton player P V Sindhu play a shot against Thailand's Buranaprasertsuk ...

India's badminton player P V Sindhu play a shot against Thailand's Buranaprasertsuk ...

ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a cheque for  ...

ITC Chairman Y C Deveshwar meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hand over a cheque for ...

India's P C Thulasi plays a shot during the Quaterfinal match of women's singles badminton ...

India's P C Thulasi plays a shot during the Quaterfinal match of women's singles badminton ...

Two stray dogs on a pipe in a flooded locality on the outskirts of Srinagar ...

Two stray dogs on a pipe in a flooded locality on the outskirts of Srinagar ...

Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar at the launch of Coca Cola Zero in New Delhi ...

Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar at the launch of Coca Cola Zero in New Delhi ...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523