Take White Nationalist Violence Seriously, Faith Leaders Tell FBI

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White nationalist protesters at last year's Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. Photo by Anthony Crider via Flickr

A group of civil rights and faith leaders called on the FBI to take “white nationalist violence” more seriously, NPR reports.

Leaders from Muslim Advocates, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Union for Reform Judaism, and the Sikh Coalition signed a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray calling attacks on houses of worship in the U.S. “far too common in recent years.”

The letter, coming less than a week after a white supremacist gunman killed 51 Muslims in two New Zealand mosques, cited a spate of attacks in the U.S., including the killing of six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in 2012; the murder of nine African Americans as they worshipped at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015; and the slaying of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa., last year.

Civil rights advocates criticized President Trump and FBI officials for downplaying white nationalism in those and other incidents. They asked to meet with Wray.

Additional reading:

When Does Hate Turn Into Terror?

Upsurge in Hate Crimes Targets Jewish Communities

Hate Crimes Surge Globally But Remain Under-Reported

 

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