INDIANAPOLIS (WANE)- We are now less than four weeks away from the start of the legislative session. A State Senator is hoping to make a big change, by creating a clearly defined hate crime law in Indiana.
Hate in any language hurts. Aliya Amin tells me her friends and family were targets.
Aliya Amin, Executive Director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana said “It breaks my heart. But at the same time, it gives me motivation to keep going and get this legislation in place.”:
She said ‘hate is not ok’ ” It’s not ok to target someone based on color, religion, who they love, who they are.”
She believes most hate crimes in Indiana aren’t ever reported, because there isn’t a clear state law.
The Muslim Alliance of Indiana said they know of 40-50 crimes that could be classified as hate crimes across the state against the Muslim community, just within the last year.
Amin said “We do have reports of women’s hijabs being ripped off. We have reports of mosques being vandalized.”:
State Senator Greg Taylor (D) District 33 is fine-tuning a bill right now that would create a biased motivated crimes law.
State Sen. Greg Taylor explained “We should protect people. That’s what government is for. The interesting part about this is it protects everyone.”
The bill would basically clearly define a hate crime, and allow a judge to slap on an extra 3-5 years in jail if somebody commits a crime because of a bias against someone or their property.
State Senator Greg Taylor said “It’s clear. You should not be harmed, of your property should not be harmed based on the fact that you’re a certain ethnic group. That includes those of the majority ethnic group.”
Taylor’s previous bias crime bills have hit road blocks. Some lawmakers argue the current law works well enough. Still, he’s expecting bipartisan support.
State Sen. Greg Taylor explained “We will not tolerate this type of activity in the state.”
It is something Amin said she wants to see.
Amin explained “We are totally in favor. I think it’s a long time coming. We applaud Senator Taylor for getting our ahead of that.”
So, what’s next? State Senator Taylor said he is hoping to get a hearing set for the bill soon after session starts. He said if things go as he plans, he hopes his bill will be signed into law by the end of March.