“Isn’t All Crime Hateful?”

Hate Crime.jpgBangladeshi-American Kamal Uddin was taking a lunch break from his construction job when he was brutally attacked by four young men.

Police are searching for whoever was behind the brutal beating of a man in broad daylight on Saturday in Brooklyn. Cops are investigating whether the man, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was the victim of a hate crime.

Family members of Kamal Uddin, 57, say that he was wearing a prayer hat when some people, possibly teenagers, jumped him from behind inside the grounds of a public housing project in East New York. [fox]

But detectives are not approaching this as a hate crime.

Detectives claim that an eyewitness did not hear any racist language during the assault, so at this point they’re not treating it as a bias crime.[abc]

Did you get that? The guys that beat Uddin up, according to the victim’s nephew, said “The mother bleeping Muslim, go back to you country.” AND the perpetrators did not take his money, wallet, cell phone or watch. Despite this, because the detectives did not have any outside witnesses that heard anything, they are not treating it as a bias crime. Mind you, the crime happened in the projects where the rules of the street prevail. The whole situation angers me. Once a particular crime is labeled as a “hate crime” a different set of laws are applied to the punishment. We’ve talked about hate-crimes here before, and of course, there’s a need for the labeling of “hate” to be associated with a crime. Almost every month here at Sepia Mutiny we hear about a hate crime targeting someone in the Desi community, and sometimes we’ll blog about. Sometimes it gets to be too much. The stories are repetitive, almost formulaic. But it’s inevitable and we need to highlight these issues so that we can be an informed community when it comes time to advocate for the community. Hate crimes are simply a part of being a South Asian living in America.

“We are born in Bangladesh but we are in America now. We are American. So we want to see that the law do equal justice,” [his daughter] Hashem said. [abc]

We’ll be following this case close. Check out the news report below.

This entry was posted in Community, Identity, Issues, News by Taz. Bookmark the permalink.

About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

10 thoughts on ““Isn’t All Crime Hateful?”

  1. All crime is hateful. But hate crime law helps in providing a funded mandate to pursue difficult cases like these that would otherwise stretch the resources of underfunded or small police districts. NYC is neither, but even then hate crimes law ensures that extraordinary resources are available to prosecute aggressively.

  2. @jyotsana

    I am surprised you have not used this case to wonder why Indian Christians, Indian Muslims, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have not spoken out to defend your fellow co-religionists.

  3. What are his union affiliations, if any? No doubt religious bigotry was at work, but I know construction in NYC can get BRUTAL if you’re not part of or hiring the right local unions.

  4. Disgusting, a distant relative of mine in Coventry has recently been hospitalised by having a car driven into his legs, because he is brown..

    These cases are isolated but always there. Even if we are born in the west, we must never forget, that as long as our skins are brown, our religions and customs different, the worst in the indiginous, will always see us as the alien…that said, I can buy that disgusting arguement from a Brit, but in the USA unless you are amerindian, all are from somewhere else, so all have equal rights..I have just been reading Maggie Gee’s The White Family, in which it is clear that the least educated of the white population will always blame the Nigger or Paki for their own shortcomings…

    9/11 is so seeped in US that this is going to happen again and again, especially of you are a Muslim

  5. It surprises me to see the article and comments move in a different direction from the title. The problem with “hate crimes” is that they move resources from one place to another based on some kind of triage that makes no logical sense. When black kids attack a white guy minding his own business that’s not considered a hate crime and is therefore not taken nearly as seriously as the exceedingly rare occasion where the reverse occurs.

    There’s no question that the pendulum needed to swing towards bias in favor of the minority but it’s swung so far that the gravitational force is bound to lead to a backlash. Beating people up is a horrific thing, whatever its reason and in a fair country all such cases should be treated the same.

  6. Oh, I just reread the article and have cracked the code. The reason the media wasn’t brought out to a stage full of somber-looking politicians is because the attackers were apparently black (or possibly hispanic). You see, there’s an hierarchy here. While everyone is in agreement that straight white christian men are the scum of the earth and irredemably guilty in any interaction they might have with anyone else, Browns aren’t all that much higher up on the totem pole. Feted and patronized sure, but in any interaction with more “vibrant” peoples Desis aren’t accorded much sympathy. (If only this had happened in the suburbs!)

  7. ut in any interaction with more “vibrant” peoples Desis aren’t accorded much sympathy.

    sadly true. A good percentage of the attackers of the Indian Students in Australia are other immigrants – Lebane / Africans. The Australia government had its head buried in the sand – and still has.

  8. Wow, this is VERY troublesome! Violence like this is why I’m glad to be out of NYC area. But I have few relatives there, and I DO worry about them. I have heard that Brownsville, Brooklyn is NOT the safest of areas; I’ve never been there myself. The teenagers involved were most likely black. More violence like this will keep happening (esp. to those who express their religion publicly, have accents, etc.) until the terrorism ends. Also, violence happens b/c of poverty, lack of jobs, and people feeling like they’re out of control of their lives. Very, very sad…

  9. Sad, disturbing, and unfortunate.

    But I think we should be careful about pushing the cops/prosecutors to pursue crimes like this as ‘hate crimes.’ While slapping the term ‘hate crime’ onto these incidents can be helpful in terms of getting increased media attention, in New York and many states, it can also result in extended prison sentences for those convicted. Sending people to prison for longer periods of time is not the solution, and we as a community must do what we can to make sure that punishment does not replace prevention and education.