Two years ago, the FBI advisory board voted to approve a motion to expand hate crime incident tracking reports to include crimes motivate by bias against Sikhs, Hindus, and Arabs. This expansion came about in part by ADC’s continuing advocacy efforts and grassroots advocacy campaigns to promote tracking of hate crimes against minority groups, including Arab-Americans.
In 2013, ADC urged Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director to allow for the collection and tracking of hate crimes committed against Arab-Americans, Sikh Americans, and Hindu Americans. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) introduced letters calling for expansion of hate crimes tracking, and over a thousand ADC members participated in multiple ADC action alerts urging their representatives to support the collection and tracking of hate crimes committed against Arab Americans.
While ADC welcomes the FBI’s collection and tracking of hate crimes against Arab-Americans, the FBI’s policies and procedures still have much room for improvement. As a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ADC and many civil rights organizations have expressed concerns with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, or Gender Identity. ADC is particularly concerned that the DOJ’s guidance allows the FBI to continue its extensive data-gathering and “mapping” of racial, ethnic, and religious communities.
ADC encourages the FBI other federal agencies to continue to improve their policies and guidelines to eliminate profiling based on race, religion, and national origin.