March 8, 2018 (New York, NY) – This week, the Sikh Coalition’s legal team has taken on three hate crime cases, and we are in the process of connecting with other communities on at least three more hate incidents. This is in addition to a hate crime case we have been involved with since January.
While this is an alarming recent spike, it follows a pattern: We estimate that Sikhs in the U.S. are experiencing an average of one hate crime per week since the start of 2018. This figure is likely to be the tip of the iceberg as many individuals of hate crimes do not report them to law enforcement or the Sikh Coalition.
We provide completely free and confidential legal assistance to Sikhs who have been discriminated against or subject to bias based upon their religious beliefs or identity. Please fill out our legal intake form if you believe you have been discriminated against or subject to bias, and would like to request legal assistance from the Sikh Coalition. The Sikh Coalition handles nearly 200 free and confidential legal intakes a year, and we examine every submission on a case-by-case basis.
“Our organization is designed to be your insurance policy when a hate crime occurs,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director, Amrith Kaur. “Nobody in America has more legal experience dealing with hate crime cases for Sikhs than our organization, and we are always here to protect your rights.”
TAKE ACTION & KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
1. Report Hate Incidents – If you or somebody you know has experienced threats of hate violence, bias-based property damage or hate vandalism, seek medical attention if needed and call law enforcement immediately. Please be aware that law enforcement should not ask you about your immigration status, and in the event that they do, you have the right to not answer this question. Please contact the Sikh Coalition at 212-655-3095 or by filling out our quick reporting form to have a free and confidential consultation with experienced attorneys in either English or Punjabi.
2. Know Your Rights – Download our FAQ guide on hate crimes, hate speech and on how to report incidents to authorities and the Sikh Coalition. Display our hate crime poster at your gurdwara, which is available in both English and Punjabi. Additionally, the Sikh Coalition continues to provide educational brochures that introduce non-Sikhs to the Sikh faith and community. This resource is available in 18 different languages. To get copies of any of our resources please email education@sikhcoalition.
3. Share Gurdwara Security Toolkit – Print or email our Gurdwara Security Toolkit, and share it with your gurdwara. In 2017, over 50 gurdwaras worked with the Sikh Coalition to take proactive steps to make their gurdwaras safer. Ask your gurdwara if they have already participated, and if they haven’t, please have a committee member email community@sikhcoalition.
4. Share This Information With Your Friends and Family – Forward this email to your immediate circle of friends and family. Encourage them to sign up for the Sikh Coalition’s email alerts so that they can continue to receive related updates on resources and information. Take the next easy step and post this information to your social media accounts. It’s critical that we disseminate this information to everybody in the community so that if a hate crime happens, they know we are here to provide free and confidential legal resources.