US Congressman discusses hate crime incidents with minority community leaders
Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi met with leaders of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain communities in the US.
Washington: Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi met with leaders of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Jain communities in the US and discussed increasing incidents of hate crimes against the minority communities in the country.
The discussion among other things, also included an overview of Krishnamoorthi's strong objections to the CNN programme Believer's wrongful portrayal of Hinduism, his continuing efforts on immigration issues, and his ongoing work to address the national increase in hate crimes.
Over the course of the discussion, the coummunity leaders shared personal stories of the challenges they faced from the growing national climate of hostility and increasing fears around hate-motivated violence, a media release said.
"Hindu and Muslim-Americans reported (to me) incidents of people talking to them poorly. We have to take note of it and talk about it in a group and hope people feel secure. But it can't be solved overnight," the 43 year-old lawmaker said.
Krishnamoorthi, the first time Democratic lawmaker, visited the BAPS Mandir where he was felicitated for his election to Congress. He met with leaders to further discuss the concerns of the community.
The Indian-American Congressman has also been meeting with members of the Muslim-American community and recently visited Islamic Foundation in Villa Park and Muslim Society.
"I'm glad I've been able to meet with so many members of our community to discuss the challenges we face," he said.
"In Congress, I work every day to support our communities on such issues as immigration and religious freedom while fighting to combat the surge in hate crimes and broader hostility which has struck members of our community across the country, and sewn fear in many others," he added.
Following the February shooting of two Indian men in Kansas, Krishnamoorthi formally called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to use the full powers of his office to combat the national surge in hate crime.
He also called for the committee to hold hearings on the issue through both a formal letter and a speech on the House floor.
More recently, he authored and is circulating a congressional letter calling upon Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security to use the resources of his department to address the increase in hate crimes against religious minorities in the country.
"In each of these meetings, I was inspired by the love of country demonstrated by the leaders I spoke to, but also by their deeply-rooted commitments to their religions," Krishnamoorthi said.
"Part of the greatness of our country is that it does not force us to abandon our faiths, it welcomes them into the American mosaic with us."
"We will continue to take heart in the knowledge that this country belongs to all of us and we will work together against those forces that would challenge that national promise," Krishnamoorthi said.