QUEENS, NY (TIP): Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), a leader on Sikh- American issues who spearheaded the effort to encourage the Department of Justice and FBI to begin tracking and quantifying hate crimes against Sikhs, issued a statement, August 5, condemning attack on a Queens businessman who was injured after being run down by a pickup truck outside of his office late last week. Advocates and the Sikh-American community in Queens joined together to rally behind Mr. Singh and call for justice.

The Congressman said, “I’m deeply concerned about the events that took place last week here in Queens, and I wish Mr. Singh a speedy recovery. Two years after the massacre in Oak Creek, it is clear that the Sikh community is still facing the threat of violence, and this kind of continued hate and these attacks against Sikh Americans must come to an end.

I hope the Department of Justice and FBI can offer assistance in this case, including using the updated system for specifically tracking hate crimes against Sikhs. The intolerance and ignorance that contributed to the attack on Mr. Singh is unacceptable, and we must continue to work to end these hate crimes.” Sikh-Americans are often targeted for hate crimes because of their distinct identity and common misperceptions with respect to their attire and appearance. Attackers sometimes appear to erroneously believe that Sikh- Americans are affiliated with extremists and were somehow responsible for the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States.

In other circumstances they are attacked because of their Sikh identity. Over the past three years, Crowley has led a major effort in the U.S. House of Representatives to convince the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to begin collecting data on hate crimes committed against Sikh-Americans and Hindu- Americans – introducing legislation and sending multiple letters to the DOJ and FBI.

Last year, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller announced the agency would begin this program. Crowley’s efforts have been supported by the Sikh Coalition, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, Hindu American Foundation, and Indian American Forum for Political Education, SALDEF, and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) among other leading national organizations.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.

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