New York: Describing bullying and harassment of Sikh children as a "serious problem", the US Department of Justice has recommended that crimes against Sikhs and Hindus should be added to the religion-based hate crimes tracked by the FBI to help law enforcement officials tackle the problem.
Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division Tom Perez said there is "strong support" from interfaith groups for adding anti-Sikh, anti-Hindu and
anti-Arab to the hate crime categories tracked by FBI's Uniform Crime Report.
Mr Perez visited Oak Creek last week and met with members and leaders of the Gurdwara where white supremacist Wade Micheal Page had gunned down six Sikhs and critically injured three others in August this year.
Mr Perez said he attended a town hall meeting in Oak Creek hosted by the Justice Department where 22 diverse religious and interfaith groups discussed how religion-based hate crimes are tracked by the FBI's Uniform Crime Report.
Based on the meeting and the division's law enforcement experiences, the division and the Community Relations Service has made a recommendation that crimes against Sikhs and Hindus be added to the coding sheets that police fill out and the
hate crime reports the FBI produces each year.
"We believe adding these categories would improve the data about hate crimes that helps inform our enforcement work," Mr Perez said in a blogpost.