An annual report released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has revealed that around 60 incidents of hate crimes against Sikhs were reported to the FBI in 2018, making the community the third most commonly targeted religious group after Jews and Muslims in the US.
Last year, law enforcement agencies around the country reported a total of 7,120 hate crimes, a little down from 7,175 in 2017. This involved 8,496 offences.
The largest number of religion-based hate crimes were reported against Jews (835), followed by Muslims (188) and Sikhs (60). Apart from these, 91 hate crimes were reported against other religions, including 12 against Hindus and ten anti-Buddhist crimes.
In a statement, the Sikh Coalition said that it is “disheartening” that hate crimes remain systematically “under-reported” across the US.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics said that Americans experience an average of 2,50,000 hate crimes per year. However, this latest FBI data managed to document only 7,120 incidents. Less than 13 per cent of law enforcement affirmatively provided reports of hate crimes, the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said.
“While hate crimes remained relatively steady nationally, reports of anti-Sikh hate crimes rose by 200 per cent since 2017, making Sikhs the third most commonly targeted religious group in the dataset,” it said.
“At the end of the day, this data simply isn’t giving us the accurate information we need to counteract hate against targeted communities effectively,” India Today quoted Sim J. Singh, Sikh Coalition senior manager of Policy and Advocacy, as saying.