American Turban

Taking responsibility for our crimes

It was not long ago that I came across the following on Twitter:

I agreed with it then, and am reminded of it now as I came across the story of a Sikh cab driver in New York who was arrested on charges of rape (among others related to his assault) of a female passenger:

Gurmeet Singh, 40, picked up the 26-year-old woman on May 6, and she asked to be taken to her Manhattan building, cops said.

After the intoxicated woman fell asleep, Singh, pulled over, bound the victim’s hands with a scarf and began raping her, cops said.

Police sketch of Gurmeet Singh, arrested on rape charges (photo: nypost.com)

Police sketch of Gurmeet Singh, arrested on rape charges (photo: nypost.com)

I’m absolutely disgusted by this crime, and it hits a personal note when the police sketch of the suspect in this assault is of a Sikh man who is wearing our sacred articles of faith (turban, uncut hair).  We’re often quick to lament the transgressions against our community (as I have done on this blog), but we also seem to downplay or distance ourselves from members of our community who engage in criminal acts against others.  Gurmeet Singh, in his guise as a Sikh, has violated basic principles of Sikhism’s teachings.

This news only brings out the worst in those who would discriminate against us, as the Comments section in the New York Post story demonstrates.

As a community, while we take pride in those among us who achieve greatness, we should also condemn and redress the actions of those from among us who have done others harm.  It is the Sikh’s duty to defend righteousness and justice, and we shouldn’t shirk from this responsibility.

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