Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi on Tuesday called for immediate action to stop rising hate crimes in the US against people of Indian origin.
“I call upon my colleagues in Congress, those in the executive branch, and all Americans, to follow the example of those who have already lived the best values of our nation by working to prevent future acts of hate and to resist the culture which has led to them,” he said.
“The Department of Justice must use its full powers to combat this wave of hate crimes,” Krishnamoorthi demanded.
On Friday, Deep Rai, a Sikh Indian-American, was shot outside his home and told to “go back to your own country.”
“Thankfully, Mr. Rai survived this act of hate, which stands not only as an attack on an individual, but also on the peace of mind of millions of Americans and the highest principles of our nation,” he said.
Krishnamoorthi, the first time Democratic lawmaker from Illinois, said the entire government, and especially the Department of Justice, must act immediately to combat these hate crimes and fulfil its responsibility of defending all its citizens.
“The Department of Justice must use its full powers to combat this wave of hate crimes,” Krishnamoorthi demanded, adding that this shooting follows a string of bigoted attacks which has led to increased fear and bloodshed across the nation.
Dozens of Jewish community centres have been threatened and Jewish cemeteries defaced. A little over a week ago, a mosque in Florida was firebombed and two Indian men in Kansas were shot for the colour of their skin, he said.
“In this latest attack, Mr. Rai was shot simply for being a Sikh in his own country,” he added.
“From Muslims who rallied in support of Jewish community centres, to Jewish communities contributing to the recovery of the bombed mosque in Florida, to the third man wounded in the Kansas shooting who tried to stop further carnage, countless Americans have risen to defend the greatest ideals of our nation,” he said.
“Americans of all races, creeds, and origins have opposed the tide of hate, and now their government leaders must do the same,” Krishnamoorthi said.