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Press Release

Readout of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division's Meeting with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian and Hindu Community Stakeholders

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department convened a quarterly interagency meeting yesterday with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian and Hindu community stakeholders. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division outlined relevant enforcement efforts across the Department and highlighted actions to prevent and combat discrimination and hate crimes.

This convening occurred at a time when hate and threats of violence against these communities remain concerningly high, particularly since Oct. 7, 2023. Representatives from the Civil Rights Division, FBI, Criminal Division, Community Relations Service, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties and Office of Community Oriented Policing Service heard from attending organizations about campus safety and civil rights protections for student protestors as well as concerns about employment discrimination. Representatives from other federal government agencies also participated, including Department of Homeland Security Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Departments of Education, Labor, Transportation and State.

Combating hate crimes and addressing discrimination claims are among the department’s top priorities. Yesterday’s meeting represents the department’s latest efforts to engage with organizations and stakeholders on issues affecting Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Sikh, Hindu, and South Asian communities. In March, the department hosted a community safety briefing for Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian community stakeholders, during which the department released resource documents designed to help the public better understand federal civil rights laws, including laws that prohibit violence and discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin, discrimination in public accommodations, and protections afforded by the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).

The department has also continued to aggressively investigate and prosecute hate crimes, including recent cases involving a Texas man who threatened employees of a Sikh nonprofit organization; a Texas man who carried out a mass shooting targeting Muslims at a car repair shop in Dallas in which one person was killed, and four others were seriously injured; a New Jersey man who broke into the Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University during the Eid holiday and destroyed property, including prayer stones, items with inscriptions of the Quran, and a Palestinian flag; a Florida man who assaulted a Muslim woman postal worker by pulling her out of her truck and grabbing her neck while attempting to pull off her hijab and threatening her; and a Florida man who threatened a Michigan-based Muslim civil rights nonprofit.

If you believe that you or someone else experienced religious or national origin discrimination, report a civil rights violation online at civilrights.justice.gov. If you believe you are a victim or a witness of a hate crime, report it to the FBI by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or submitting a tip at tips.fbi.gov. Learn more about the department’s work on hate crimes here.

Assistant Attorney General Clarke meeting with Muslim, Arab, Sikh, South Asian and Hindu community stakeholders
Updated June 7, 2024

Topic
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-712