‘Increase in hate crimes against South Asians disheartening’: SABA

Washington: The latest FBI report showing an increase in hate crimes against South Asians “confirm uneasy feelings of many of the community members,” South Asian Bar Association of North America has said.
While overall, the increase in hate crimes against South Asians represents a five per cent increase in incidents, in some cases, Hindus have experienced a 100 per cent increase in hate crimes from five in 2015 to 10 in 2017, South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) said yesterday.
“These statistics confirm the uneasy feelings of many of our community members, that we are being targeted,” said SABA president Rishi Bagga.
“We must work with law enforcement, including reporting hate crimes when they occur. We must speak out. And most importantly, we must support each other,” Bagga said.
Comparing the numbers from 2015, the statistics display disturbing trends, SABA said, adding that, incidents targeting Asians generally increased from 111 to 113 a two per cent and those targeting Arabs increased from 37 to 51 (a 38 per cent).
Incidents targeting Muslims increased from 257 to 307 (of 19 per cent), and those targeting Sikhs increased from 6 to 7 (of 17 per cent increase).
“South Asian communities are being targeted in a way that we have not seen since immediately after 9/11,” SABA said.
FBI had released its annual figures of hate crime on Monday. The FBI compiles its hate crime statistics from incidents reported by police through the Uniform Crime Reporting programme.
The statistics do not track South Asians (those who trace their ethnicity from the Indian subcontinent, including the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal) as a separate category, examining several other identifying characteristics, such as racial and religious identities shared by South Asians, reflects a dramatic increase in the targeting of people of South Asian descent.