By Mike Kinney
FBI Special Agent Daudshah Ansish stopped by the Sikh Center of the San Francisco Bay Area in El Sobrante on Sunday in order to educate the Sikh community on how to identify hate crimes and where to make a complaint.
It was part of the The Know Your Rights Forum, one of many being hosted across the nation by the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund in order to educate community members on their rights related to bias or harassment in the workplace, schools, on airplanes and more.
Ansish defined a hate crime as a crime against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by th eoffender’s bias against hte victim or the property owner and the offender’s bias is again based upon race, religion, ethnicity and national origion.
Having an FBI agent establish a personal relationship with the local Sikh community may be as crucial as the public education campaign, Ansish said.
“Being able to connect with the community…is an important aspect of being able to enforce when their rights are violated,” he said.
Sikh leaders said it was not just useful, but “very important in these times” that community members know their rights and, as importantly, know who to contact if they believe they have been violated.
The forum was attended by Richmond Poet & Human Rights Advocate Jerome Smith, who noted that it is important for the community to be aware there is a due process to protect both their Human and Civil Rights.