We condemn the surge of violence, hate crimes and attacks all across America, from the murder of Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, a Sikh police officer who was recently murdered in Texas, the murder of Bronx police officer Brian Mulkeen who died in a case of friendly-fire while trying to arrest an armed man, Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin both immigrants from Bangladesh and fathers of three who were walking home from midday prayer when they were killed, to the several other unreported crimes.
We must condemn all hate crimes and call for the fullest punishment under the law. An attack on any person is an attack on all of us. We also recall the recent atrocious attack on a Hindu priest, Swami Ji Harish Chander Puri, who had to be hospitalized from the bruises and abrasions he received when he was targeted at the Shiv Shakti Peeth Temple in Glen Oaks.
Since Aug. 5, 2012, when a neo-Nazi gunman walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire, killing six worshippers and injuring several more, the largest mass shooting in a house of worship in America, violence and hate crimes have increased alarmingly.
The FBI, which tracks anti-Sikh, Hindu, Arab-American, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Orthodox Christian communities hate crimes, announced that hate crimes have increased by 16.7 percent and anti-Sikh hate crimes by more than 243 percent, although these statistics do not include the many more unreported crimes.
We must unite and eradicate these crimes, and assist law enforcement in bringing them to their attention and action.
Albert Baldeo is the president of the Queens Justice Center and Baldeo Foundation, 106-11 Liberty Avenue, Ozone Park, NY 11417.