ADC Urges Tracking of Anti-Arab Hate Crimes
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | October 24, 2012 – Recently, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), represented by Legal Director Abed Ayoub, was given the distinguished opportunity to present to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Subcommittee of the Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS). The invite to present followed a written request by ADC to the Department of Justice to include “Arab” among the “race” identities that may be recorded on the Hate Crime Incident Report (Form 1-699) in hate crimes data collection pursuant to the Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA).
The presentation, which was given last Thursday in Phoenix, Arizona, highlighted and stressed the importance of including an “anti-Arab” category. ADC provided multiple examples of hate crimes based on anti-Arab sentiment, which have occurred over the past decade. Ayoub stressed to the UCR Subcommittee that enumeration will have many benefits, stating, “Over the past decade, and for decades prior, Arab Americans have suffered from violent hate crimes and discrimination. Providing law enforcement the ability to track crimes based on anti-Arab bias will increase the likelihood that such incidents of crimes will be reported by the victims." The data will also help reveal finely distinct realities of hate crimes; and, most importantly, allow law enforcement to accurately prosecute hate crimes on behalf of the community.
As stated in the written request, the FBI’s HCSA program is a powerful tool and can provide many benefits to both law enforcement and the community, if expanded to include an “Arab” category. The collection of data will accurately reflect the facts on the ground and will allow for all parties to work together effectively in protecting all groups against hate and violence.
ADC also submitted its support for the inclusion of Sikhs under the “religion” category as part of the HCSA data collection program. The Sikh Community, represented by Mr. Rajdeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition, also presented in Arizona.
ADC welcomes the opportunity to present to the UCR and looks forward to continuing the dialogue. ADC understands that implementation of such a category does not happen overnight, and given this reality, we have committed resources for the long-term to ensure that such a category is in fact added to the Hate Crime Incident Report Form.