< < <
Date Index
> > >
Hate crime in US on the rise: Pakistanis, Indians prime target......
by Saima Alvi
14 March 2002 09:26 UTC
< < <
Thread Index
> > >

12 March 2002  Tuesday  

Hate crime in US on the rise: Pakistanis, Indians prime target: report 

By Our Staff Correspondent 

WASHINGTON, March 11: In the period following the Sept 11 attacks, there 
was an increase in bias-motivated incidents against Asian Pacific 
Americans, particularly Pakistanis and Indians , says a report released 
here on Monday to mark the six-month anniversary of the attacks. 

The report, entitled Backlash: When America Turned on its Own, has been 
prepared by the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPAIC), 
an advocacy group, and it warns also against a wave of draconian US 
government measures that send a message of intolerance and discrimination 
in employment, immigration and other policies. 

The report says six months after Sept 11, what it means to be an immigrant 
in America has been transformed. Certain immigrant communities, 
particularly those who are, or appear to be Muslim, such as people of South 
Asian backgrounds, are bearing the brunt of policies that threaten 
fundamental ideals of American liberty. 

NAPALC and its affiliates tracked an "intense period of bias-motivated 
incidents victimizing Asian Americans" between Sept 11 and Dec 11, 2001. 
Unlike the hate crime incidents typically reported, which generally involve 
relatively young male offenders and male victims, the post-9/11 backlash 
victims and perpetrators included women, senior citizens, shop owners and 
even children. A significant number of incidents occurred in schools and in 
the workplace. 

Vandalism and arson of small businesses were also reported. The majority of 
the attacks, occurring nation-wide, involved South Asian Americans, and 
among them focused particularly on Sikh Americans. 

The bias-motivated incidents included a high degree of physical violence, 
with approximately one in five victims suffering bodily injury from 
physical assaults (perpetrators used baseball bats, metal poles and guns as 
weapons). Men with turbans and beards were vulnerable to attacks from 
assailants who accused them of being Osama bin Laden. 

0 The report details many of the incidents in notable case studies and 
regional incident reports, including the murder of a Pakistani, Waqar 
Hasan, who was working in a grocery in Pleasant Grove, Texas, when he was 
attacked, and of a Sikh, Balbir Singh, in Arizona. 

While direct assaults have decreased, the report says, the US is now 
experiencing a second wave of backlash that will have lasting consequences 
for immigrants, far beyond South Asian American or Arab American 
communities. In the months following the tragedy of Sept 11, the paradigm 
of immigration shifted from being a welcome and integral feature of 
American life to the potential source of a national security threat. 

The report calls for a review of the policies being adopted as part of the 
administration's war against terrorism, notes NAPALC executive director 
Karen K. Narasaki. She cautions that immigrant communities are bearing the 
brunt of the domestic reaction, initially through a spate of spontaneous 
violent attacks, and in a more institutionalized effort to further restrict 
immigration and limit the constitutional values and protections that have 
attracted immigrants to America. 

The report points out that while President Bush spoke out early against 
vigilante action and called for tolerance, his administration advanced a 
number of policy initiatives signaling the opposite message. "Racial 
profiling, new immigration laws and other policies proposed by the 
Department of Justice have repeatedly played on fears that even legal 
permanent residents and immigrants are national security threats." 

Immediately following Sept 11, the report notes, the department rounded up 
and imprisoned over a thousand individuals, denying them access to 
attorneys and to their families, without even charging them with a specific 

"In New York, South Asian, Arab and Muslim Americans were stopped for 
questioning and the FBI and INS conducted house raids in communities 
largely populated by these minorities," said Margaret Fung of AALDEF. "The 
DOJ also initiated the USA Patriot Act, a package of measures that sends 
disturbing signals to the American public." 

The report includes recommendations that call for full compliance by law 
enforcement agencies to the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 and reaffirm 
support for the passage of the Local Law Enforcement Act (LLEEA) of 2001, a 
measure that would broadly expand existing federal hate crime legislation. 

Saima Alvi
Research Assistant
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
Opposite Sector U, DHA, Lahore-54792
Tel.: 5722670-79; Ext.: 2165

< < <
Date Index
> > >
World Systems Network List Archives
at CSF
Subscribe to World Systems Network < < <
Thread Index
> > >