No community should have to exist in a state of fear because of their perceived religious beliefs. And yet, for many American Muslim families across the nation, that is our reality. This is why MPAC has made it a policy priority to address the increase in religiously motivated hate crimes.

Today, we submitted written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Responses to Religious Hate Crimes. Our testimony made three recommendations:

1. Better reporting → incentivize reporting because only 4,000 of 15,000 law enforcement agencies participate in hate crimes reporting;

2. Better training → federal and local law enforcement agencies need better guidelines on how to report, classify, and prosecute hate crimes;

3. Better coordination → establish an interagency task force to collaborate on the development of effective strategies and efforts to detect and deter hate crime to protect minority communities.

Read Our Written Testimony
We’ve taken a multifaceted approach to advocacy on this policy issue.

Legislative Action

Last month, we worked with Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) to draft, introduce, and pass a bipartisan Senate Resolution 118 addressing religiously motivated hate crimes whose bipartisan co-sponsors included and Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Collins (R-ME), Rubio (D-FL), and Duckworth (D-IL). We are working currently on a House version of the resolution (H.Res.257) with Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10).

Executive Policy

Advocating that the Department of Justice set up an interagency task force to respond to the increase in hate crimes. This task force should include federal and local government agencies and community groups working on this issues to address the problems with reporting, data, and coordination.

Community Engagement

We are leading an initiative with support from the DOJ Community Relations Service to dispel hate and fear between diverse segments of local communities by serving as a conduit to facilitate dialogues between different sectors of the community which include faith-based organizations, local government, local law enforcement, local schools, other organizations such as the YMCA and neighborhood groups.

While there is momentum within Congress to address this issue, nevertheless, we are disappointed in the lack of direct inclusion of American Muslim voices on the witness panel. We hope that future hearings, meetings, and summits to address this issue include Muslims from planning to implementation.

In service,

Omar Noureldin
Vice President
Strategy & Operations