It’s hard to believe, but up until last March the FBI didn’t track hate crimes against Muslims or people wrongly perceived to be Muslim, including Hindus and Sikhs. Sadly, the agency has had plenty of incidents to count over the last 12 months, particularly following the terrorist massacres in Paris, San Bernardino and Brussels. With each mass attack, politicians and media ramp up Islamophobic rhetoric and fear. It’s no wonder that we’ve seen a sharp spike in attacks, vandalism and threats againt Arab- and South Asian-American citizens and their places of worship.
Given the moment that we’re in, we wondered if the FBI’s hate crime tracking is making Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs feel any safer. Representatives from the Sikh Coalition, the Council on American Islamic Relations-New York (CAIR-NY) and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) answered that question and others, proving their thoughts on the current political climate and what it takes to build multiracial and multi-faith solidarity.
Additional reporting by Sameer Rao