The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would collect data on hate crimes against the Sikh, Hindu and Arab-American communities, if a letter signed by Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore has its intended effect.
Representative Paul Ryan has not signed the congressional letter. A Ryan spokesman did not reply to an email asking whether the congressman will sign the document.
Moore, a Democrat from Milwaukee, has joined about 100 other members of Congress in asking the FBI to collect the additional data about victims of hate crimes. Moore's district is just north of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek where a white man killed a half-dozen temple members last August. Moore says the FBI already gathers information about other hate crime victims.
"We've registered other groups. We don't discriminate against people based on their religion, sexual orientation, disability. Why would we not want to add a group that feels it is being targeted, specifically because of its religion and national identity, and fears that they've had a long history of it?"
Moore says the members of Congress are trying to add a little more emphasis to a similar request made months ago by the U.S. Department of Justice. Doctor Kulwant Dhaliwal is happy to hear of the letter. He is president of the Sikh temple in Oak Creek.
"It's very welcome, because that's the only way to know the extent of the problem. Otherwise, they hear about one incident in Oak Creek, or isolated incidents, but if you put them together it becomes a significant number. Which means we would need to take some action against it, to prevent them or deal with them after they happen."
Dhaliwal says another member of the Oak Creek temple testified on Capitol Hill, asking for the additional hate crime data. The Oak Creek temple is in the district of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.