Members of the Sikh community in the San Francisco Bay area have told U.S. law enforcement officials that they face severe workplace discrimination and hate, and want the federal government to be more vigilant in pursuing such crimes.
Hundreds of Sikhs from the region met Sunday with U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and her counterparts in other parts of the state, telling the delegation that they constantly struggle with discrimination and bigotry, the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times reports.
Sikhs, whose numbers total some 25 million worldwide, many of whom live in India, are often confused with Muslims, a concern expressed by those who met with Haag at a Sikh Center in the East Bay community of El Sobrante.
The group said that they were concerned that the FBI doesn't specifically track anti-Sikh hate crimes, lumping them in with those perpetrated against Muslims and with issues primarily affecting people from the Middle East, the newspaper reports.
Haag told the group that she was particularly dismayed by the intolerance toward Sikhs in light of the religion's teachings that emphasize equality among both sexes, and all races and beliefs.
"Especially after you learn about all that, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to discriminate against the Sikh community," the Times quotes Haag as saying.
Haag promised the group that she would discuss their concerns with FBI officials.
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