South Asian Americans Debate Responses to "Backlash"

October 22, 2001


On October 22, 2001 featured the article "Self-Defense vs. Divisive Politics: South Asians disagree over need to differentiate themselves from targeted groups." The article noted, "As reports of bias attacks against Muslims, Arabs and South Asians started trickling in, some community leaders began advocating self-preservation in places of worship, at vigils and other public forums. Some Hindu leaders reportedly advised South Asian women to wear bindis so they would not be mistaken for Arabs. A television ad sponsored by a Sikh group declared: 'We are Sikhs. Ours is a 500-year old religion. Do not mistake us for Muslims.'" Others within the South Asian community believe that such differentiation could be divisive.