Washington D.C. - February 27, 2007: Yesterday, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), the nation’s oldest national Sikh American civil rights and advocacy organization, met with Federal Bureau of Investigation Director, Robert S Mueller III.
SALDEF, the sole Sikh American organization represented at the meeting, spoke to Director Mueller specifically about the importance of continued efforts to increase dialogue and communication amongst the leadership of America’s largest investigative and law enforcement agency and the Sikh American community.
SALDEF also proposed the adoption and formalization of Sikh American Cultural Awareness and Protocol Training for each of their new recruits at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and through local field offices across the country.
“The benefits of incorporating SALDEF’s cultural competency training in the FBI’s training program will empower the FBI’s new recruits and current agents with the appropriate information about cultural practices of Sikh Americans in an effort to better utilize FBI resources,” stated SALDEF Chairman and Co-Founder Manjit Singh. “Such training will help in eliminating an incorrect, though, common perception of Sikh Americans as suspicious solely based on misunderstandings of their physical identity as a Sikh.”
Director Mueller expressed his support for this initiative and cited this as a appropriate time to introduce it to the training curriculum for FBI agents, as the training period is being extended from eighteen to twenty-one weeks.