Indian-Americans Remain Vulnerable to Hate Crimes, Says FBI Report

Sikh Americans and Muslim Americans experienced alarming levels of hate-crime violence in 2019.

The Indian American
1 min read
Sikh Americans and Muslim Americans experienced alarming levels of hate-crime violence in 2019.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released data this week to show that hate crime levels in the United States have surpassed their highest levels in a decade.

In 2019 alone, a total of 8,559 hate-based incidents were reported, with 4,784 incidents motivated by race or ethnicity; 1,650 attacks were based on the victim’s religion.

While the overwhelming majority of religiously motivated attacks targeted Jewish Americans, Sikh Americans and Muslim Americans also experienced alarming levels of violence.

According to the report, approximately 219 Muslim Americans experienced hate-based incidents in 2019, the majority from White offenders, while 50 Sikh Americans and two Hindu Americans were targets of religiously motivated crimes by both White and Black offenders.

The Sikh American community specifically saw a slight decrease in the number of reported anti-Sikh incidents in 2019 after witnessing a 200 percent surge in reported incidents from the 2018 report.

“This change is of little comfort, however; extremely low reporting continues to fail to capture the scope of the bias, bigotry, and backlash that Sikhs face, and the community remains disproportionately targeted relative to its small size among the population,” said Nikki Singh, Sikh Coalition Policy and Advocacy manager, in a press statement.

“This underreported FBI data only reflects a slice of the lived experiences of Sikhs and other minorities throughout the United States, but it still paints a damning picture", she added.

“Even as deadly hate crimes increase, fewer law enforcement agencies are electing to report data to the FBI. Especially given the dangerously divisive political climate of the past four years, we should be reckoning with the problem of hate in America—not continuing to sweep it under the rug,” said Singh.

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