Source: Arizona Central
Before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Balbir Singh Sodhi was a respected gasoline station owner in east Mesa who built a new life after emigrating from India.
Sodhi and his three brothers chose the United States because our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion.
He was slain outside his gas station four days after the terrorist attacks simply because he wore a turban as required by his Sikh faith. His attacker thought he looked like an Arab.
Sodhi's death was a harsh reminder that religious freedom has not always equaled religious tolerance in our country.
Throughout our nation's history, members of numerous religions have been victims. Singh Sodhi became a dramatic new example as the result of one man's misguided and violent reaction to our nation's worst national tragedy.