Sacramento Sikh Teenager Starts Website to Educate Others about His Faith

April 7, 2006

Source: The Sacramento Bee

On April 7, 2006 The Sacramento Bee reported, "Outside Sunrise Mall two weeks after 9/11, a turbaned and bearded Sikh man and his 11-year-old son were taunted by passers-by: 'Terrorists, go back to Afghanistan!' 'People assumed we had something to do with terrorism, and they wanted to retaliate,' says Harkirat Hansra, now 15 and a sophomore at Mira Loma High School. He's not from Afghanistan. He's not even from India, though his parents, Gurprit and Maninder Hansra, immigrated to California in the 1980s from the Punjab state. Harkirat Hansra is an American, born and bred, a suburban kid from Rancho Cordova. He decided to deal with the problem of misunderstanding and discrimination the American way: through education. For a school project, he has created a website called 'Sikhs: The Most Visible Yet Most Misunderstood Minority,' which is at, with the goal of educating Americans about who their Sikh neighbors really are... On his site, Harkirat provides information on Sikhs' beliefs and religious symbols, their language, their heritage and culture."