Urgent Community Advisory: Exercise Caution at Places of Worship

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | August 5, 2012 -- In light of the shooting earlier today at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, and as a result of a recent increase in hate crimes targeting the Arab, Muslim and South Asian-American communities, and their places of worship, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is asking that all members of the affected communities exercise extreme caution and immediately report any incidents of harassment, abuse or violence to the appropriate authorities

Reports indicate that six people have been killed, along with the gunman, and many others wounded in the Sunday morning shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. ADC sends its thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shooting. ADC reiterates that there is no room for hate and such violence must not be tolerated. ADC will continue to stand with the Sikh American community, and other minority groups, in combating discrimination and hate.

ADC reminds members of these communities that equal protection and due process rights are afforded to everyone, including non-citizens, in the United States. See below for more information about your rights and what to do if you are a victim of a hate crime, profiling, or other discriminatory conduct. 

ADC had expressed, and continues to express, to the Department of Justice (DOJ) our concerns over the increase of hate crimes targeting the respective communities. ADC will continue to urge the DOJ to pursue and prosecute such hate crimes.  A succession of hate crimes within only the past few days suggests that the bigoted rhetoric has now manifested in hateful acts.

The increase of anti-Muslim rhetoric by certain media personalities, elected officials, and political hopefuls is detrimental to our Country; and, as already experienced, leads to an increase in hate crimes against Arab, Muslim, and South Asian-Americans, as well as those perceived to be Arab or Muslim.

If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or legal@adc.org.

Precaution Advisory:

Due to these recent developments, ADC is releasing the following advisory statement to members of the Arab, Muslim, South Asian and Sikh-American communities.

  • Ensure that any place of worship you attend is prepared with an emergency plan that can be implemented should the need arise. Also, be familiar with all the exits to your place of worship, in case the building is attacked. For Muslims, contact your local law enforcement officials and ask for protection during the night prayers, particularly during the month of Ramadan. Lastly, it is advisable to find out whether the location has an open line of communication with law enforcement.
  • If you are placed in physical danger because of your ethnicity, religion or national origin: call the police (dial 911 in most communities), and/or contact the local FBI office. It is the FBI's job to investigate hate-motivated crimes and specific threats of violence. A list of FBI field offices is included on our website
  • With the start of the coming school year, ensure that your children are aware that they can report any incidents of bullying or harassment to a school official or other adult. Work with your children's school to implement an anti-discriminatory policy, if a satisfactory one is not already in place.

If you feel you have been a victim of a hate crime, please contact the ADC Pro Bono Legal Department at 202-244-2990 or legal@adc.org