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New Online Tool Helps Sikh Americans Report Discrimination, Hate Violence

After the success of The Sikh Coalition's FlyRights mobile app, the organization launched a new online tool, ReportHate, this week to help Sikh Americans and others report incidents of harassment, discrimination, and hate violence.

"Hate comes in many forms," Arjun Singh, law and policy director of The Sikh Coalition, told NBC News. "This new tool will allow us to capture the many ways in which Sikh Americans are being targeted, whether legally actionable or not."

With better data, the nonprofit civil rights advocacy organization hopes to be better able to identify and quantify the types of bigotry Sikh Americans face — such as verbal harassment, physical assault, property vandalism, school bullying, employment discrimination, denial of public accommodation, airport and airplane difficulties — as well as locate the geographic areas of the country where Sikh Americans are particularly vulnerable. The organization also plans to use this data to more effectively target outreach efforts at local, state and federal levels.

"This data will allow us to better understand where and how Sikh Americans are being targeted," Singh said. "We can then share the data with relevant lawmakers, law enforcement, and educators to better combat hate and hate violence."

Although the Sikh religion originated in the Punjab region of India and Sikhs have been in America for more than 125 years, Sikh Americans have been increasingly targeted for violence and intimidation because of their turbans and beards, which represent equality and justice.

In the two months since the shootings in San Bernardino, The Sikh Coalition reported that the number of legal intakes processed increased three times compared to the same period in previous years.

The Sikh Coalition has also developed a hate crime poster which is being distributed to gurdwaras across the country to help Sikh Americans identify hate crimes and know what to do.

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