Sikh Civil Rights Office Opens in Fremont

September 13, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: KCBS

A Sikh civil rights office has opened its doors in Fremont, home to the largest Sikh population in the United States.

Neha Singh, Western Regional Director of the Sikh Coalition, says there's been a great need for such an organization to protect the rights of Sikhs.

"After 9-11, Sikhs were one of the first communities to very actively face violent backlash as a result of their outward appearance. Many Sikhs wear turbans and have beards as a result of a religious mandate, and Sikhs are the only people in the world required by religion to wear a turban," said Singh.

Singh says that the coalition aspires to a position similar to that of the Anti-Defamation League and other long-held institutions like the NAACP. She acknowledges that while the organization is focused on fighting for the civil rights of a particular community, they will openly welcome a variety of cases and hope that the issues they confront will have the "broadest impact for all groups involved."