Hindus living in the US capital were the least affected by the spate of hate crimes inflicted on South Asians following the September 11 attacks, while Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims were among the worst affected groups, a new study in the Washington D.C areas shows.
In the aftermath of the attacks, only 15 per cent Indian Hindus say they were afraid of their physical safety compared to 41 per cent Pakistani Muslims and 64 per cent Sikh respondents.
But as many as 83 per cent Sikhs respondents say they or someone they knew personally had experienced a hate crime or incident and 35 per cent Pakistani Muslims say they considered leaving the United States because of hostile atmosphere created in the aftermath of the terrorists attacks.
Eighty-six per cent of Pakistani Muslim respondents also said they became more interested in domestic and international politics and generally they felt more of a desire to participate politically.
The study was done by the Discrimination and National Security Initiative (DNSI), an affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.
The report released on the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington was based on interviews conducted over last two years.
June Han, who authored the report, said, "We now live in an era in which individuals who are or are perceived to be Arab or Muslim, including South Asians, are viewed with suspicion because of their religious background and/or the colour of their skin.