Sikh Issues in a Post 9/11 World
The Muslim Sikh community in the United States have been facing violence and discrimination against their people increasingly since 9/11. FBI: Dramatic Spike in Hate Crimes Targeting Muslims. (2012) . Retrieved from http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/fbi-dramatic-spike-in-hate-crimes-targetin. According to the FBI, Anti-Muslim has soared by 50% in 2010 since the September 11th attacks. The groups of people who encourage these types of hate crimes are misinformed and prejudice against a whole religion, instead of focusing in a humane way on a group of terrorists that caused so much turmoil in the United States.
On September 15th 2001, 4 days after the worst attack on American soil, a Sikh owner of a Chevron Gas station in a Phoenix suburb was murdered by a gunman. This was one of the first major cases of violence against Sikh-American in wake of the attacks. The 42 year old gunman Frank Roque killed 49 year old Balbir Singh Sodhi because he was lashing out at "Arabs" after watching repeated footage of World Trade Center attacks on television. When Mr. Roque was being arrested he repeatedly shouted "I stand for America all the way." NewsFeed Timeline A History of Violence against Sikhs in the Wake of 911 Comments. (2012). Retrieved from http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/06/timeline-a-history-of-violence-against-sikhs-in-the-wake-of-911.
Violence like this is very common. Also, they have had their fare share of discrimination. According to The Sikh Coalition many have reported employment discrimination. Sikh Awareness.(2010). Retrieved from http://www.sikhcoalition.org/ .Most recently, Frank Singh was called a terrorist and fired by an AutoZone store because he refused to remove his turban in Boston. Gurpreet Singh was refused a job because he would not shave his religiously-mandated beard at a Lexus Dealership right here in New Jersey.
The Sikh communities live with social injustices every day of their lives. The Americans who project these hate crimes are angry at one group of individuals, Al-Qaeda terrorists. The stereotyping of the US Sikh community leaves many to live in fear. The ironic part is the hate crimes are done out of fear. A 15 year old Sikh student had his hair forcibly cut by a fellow student at Newtown High School in Queens NY. Unshorn hair is a religious imperative for a Sikh, and the student tried to explain that to his classmate, who threatened him with scissors. NewsFeed Timeline A History of Violence against Sikhs in the Wake of 911 Comments. (2012). Retrieved from http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/08/06/timeline-a-history-of-violence-against-sikhs-in-the-wake-of-911.
Imagine going to school and being harassed and bullied into shaving your beard out of fear by a fellow American? This is supposed to be a free country, but the inequalities against the Sikh community show we regressed in peace.
United Sikhs is an awareness project that...