WASHINGTON — Rep. Mike Honda released the following statement Aug. 2 after the Department of Justice announced that, following its recommendation, the FBI would begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh, Hindu, Arab, Buddhist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Orthodox Christian individuals:
“I was proud to fight for this much-needed policy change that will bring attention to the increasing number of violent attacks committed against religious minorities in this country. As our nation grows ever more diverse, we must remain vigilant that the principles of religious liberty that America was founded upon are not trampled, and that people of all ethnicities and religions are welcomed and protected from harm.”
The statement also said, “In the spring of 2012, nearly 100 members of Congress joined Honda in a letter to the FBI Policy Advisory Board requesting that the bureau begin tracking the number of violent crimes committed against minority groups, followed by another letter this past March.”
The policy change occurred three days before the one-year anniversary of the deadly attack on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. on Aug. 5, 2012.