"Enough is Enough” -- HAF Joins Congressman Crowley’s Press Conference on Tracking Anti-Hindu, Anti-Arab, and Anti-Sikh Hate Crimes
Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2015) - Six members of Congress spoke out regarding the tracking of anti-Hindu, anti-Arab, and anti-Sikh hate crimes at a press conference on Capitol Hill. The conference, organized by Congressman Joe Crowley of New York, was also attended by Representatives Ami Bera, John Garamendi, Mike Honda, Grace Meng, and Bill Pascrell. Also in attendance were representatives from the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), as well as Sikh and South Asian groups.
“Time and time again, we have seen vicious attacks on members of the Hindu community - including in my home state of New York,” said Congressman Crowley. “Collecting data on hate crimes is more than just putting a number in a column – it means giving law enforcement agencies the resources and information they need to help prevent this kind of violence in the first place.”
HAF representatives at the event highlighted the 2012 murder of Sunando Sen, a Hindu who was pushed in front of an ongoing New York City subway train by Erika Menendez. This week, Menendez pleaded guilty and stated that she pushed Sen due to hostility to Hindus and Muslims.
“Hindu Americans remain uniquely vulnerable to harassment, bullying, and violence,” said Harsh Voruganti, Esq., HAF Associate Director of Public Policy. “While the federal hate crime tracking comes too late for Sunando, it can help ensure that hate violence is combated effectively in the future.”
The press conference coincides with a rise in anti-Hindu hate crimes across the country, including several attacks on Hindu temples, as well as anti-Hindu vandalism and graffiti in the last year. Last week, the FBI released a new training manual, developed in conjunction with HAF and other community groups, intended to help law enforcement track hate crimes against Hindu, Arab, and Sikh Americans.
“I’ve been proud to work alongside my colleagues in Congress and with leading advocates like the Hindu American Foundation to shed light on this critical issue. The fact is, this victory is only possible because of the tenacious and tireless efforts of advocates and of citizens across the country who stood up and said, ‘enough is enough’,” Crowley added.