Sikhism

Sikh Americans push for greater visibility, awareness against years of hate crimes, misunderstanding

October 11, 2021

After Sept. 11, Vishavjit Singh felt uneasy and unsafe in New York City. His turban and beard, articles of his Sikh faith, drew angry glares from his coworkers almost immediately after the attacks. With the understanding of his boss, he was able to leave Westchester county, where he worked as a software engineer at a telecommunications company, to go back home to Connecticut, where he would stay for a few weeks. In his mind, by then, things would have cooled down and he would no longer be at risk because of his appearance.

“When I went back to work, people in passing cars on...

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Sailors, Marines seek religious accommodation to wear beards

October 1, 2021

Shave or be Shaved. Aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, sailor Edmund Di Liscia faced a stark choice. According to his lawyers, he was told to either shave his beard voluntarily or be held down by his bunk mate and forcibly shaved. For Di Liscia, a practicing Hasidic Jew who had not shaved for more than two years, it was a choice between his loyalty to the U.S. Navy and his religious faith.

Di Liscia is one of several sailors and marines who are seeking religious accommodation to wear beards while in uniform.  

Earlier this year, Di Liscia, along with three...

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Search for man caught on camera ransacking Sikh house of worship

September 18, 2021

The search is on for a man caught on camera ransacking a Sikh house of worship in Federal Way.

Surveillance video KIRO 7 received shows a man smashing through a glass door to gain entry into the Khalsa Gurmat Center on Friday.

According to a post from the worship center, the main hall and prayer area was vandalized, including windows and electronic control panels. Several computers and monitors were reportedly stolen too.

Source:...

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20 Years Ago: Remembering Sikh Temple Vandalism After 9/11

September 8, 2021

The impact of 9/11 was felt across every cross-section of America, including in the Muslim and Sikh communities, which faced backlash following the attacks.

Days before the Sikh Temple of Sacramento was attacked in 2001, West Sacramento police came to warn them of potential danger.

“Police informed us be fearful something might happen,” explained Balbir Singh Dhillon, President of the Sikh Temple of Sacramento. 

Source:...

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Young Sikhs still struggle with post-Sept.11 discrimination

September 7, 2021

Sikh entrepreneur Balbir Singh Sodhi was killed at his Arizona gas station four days after the Sept. 11 attacks by a man who declared he was “going to go out and shoot some towel-heads” and mistook him for an Arab Muslim.

Young Sikh Americans still struggle a generation later with the discrimination that 9/11 unleashed against their elders and them, ranging from school bullying to racial profiling to hate crimes — especially against males, who typically wear beards and turbans to demonstrate their faith.

As the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 nears, those younger Sikhs...

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Solidarity with Sikhs: De Blasio joins turban tying ceremony in Queens

August 29, 2021

Mayor Bill de Blasio had a turban tied for solidarity on Sunday.

The atmosphere outside the Gurdwara, the Sikh Cultural Society Inc. in Richmond Hill, Queens was one of unbridled excitement on Sunday, Aug. 29. Those attending the house of worship that afternoon eagerly awaited a ceremony that has not been performed in 30 years.

David Dinkins was the last New York City mayor to have had a turban fastened to his head all the way back in 1992. According to Harpreet Singh Toor, chairman of public policy and external affairs for the Sikh Cultural Society, the process...

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US Sikhs seek White House intervention in evacuation of Afghanistan Sikhs, Hindus

August 26, 2021

US Sikhs have met with White House representative over the issue of evacuation of Afghanistan Sikhs and Hindus.

Dr Rajwant Singh, co-founder of the National Sikh Campaign (NSC) and chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, along with Gurwin Singh Ahuja, co-founder of the NSC, apprised key White House officials of the Sikh community’s concerns about the fallout of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“We conveyed that the Sikh community will be ready to assist the Biden administration if the Sikhs and Hindus are evacuated to the US. We are thankful to...

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'Arthur,' the iconic kids' show, is getting a Sikh character

August 24, 2021

Arthur, the bespectacled aardvark beloved by generations of viewers, is finally about to start the fourth grade. And in the new school year, he and his pals will befriend some new classmates -- including a Sikh boy named Samir.

The character of Samir will make his debut in "Arthur's First Day," an upcoming special scheduled to premiere on PBS on September 6...

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President Biden, Governor Evers recognize ninth anniversary of shooting at Oak Creek Sikh temple

August 5, 2021

OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Nine years ago on this day, August 5, 2012, a gunman walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and opened fire, killing six people.

The shooter, identified as a white supremacist from Cudahy, walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and began a rampage which killed six people, wounded many and terrorized an entire community before turning the gun on himself.

President Biden released a remembrance statement in a tweet early Thursday morning, calling for Americans to stand up against hate and bigotry, while standing for the freedom of...

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Sikh temple under construction vandalized in New Hyde Park

August 5, 2021

(RNS) — A Nassau County Sikh gurdwara under construction in New Hyde Park was vandalized with graffiti declaring “Trump 2024 Make America Great Again!,” according to the Sikh Coalition and law enforcement.

The graffiti was discovered Tuesday (Aug. 3) afternoon at Darbar Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji New York and was reported to the Nassau County Police Department, said Rajanpreet Kaur, a spokesperson for the Sikh Coalition. Since then, the gurdwara retained the Sikh Coalition to assist in the case.

The graffiti also included the phrases “I love Jesus! Only God!” and “...

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