December 18, 2019
Cenk for Congress
20 Galli Drive, Suite A
Novato CA 94949-5731
We are writing to request your public pledge to protect Sikhs and other religious minorities worldwide from discrimination and violence in the event that you are elected to Congress.
The context of our request is a Young Turks segment dated September 27, 2012 in which you opined that Sikh religious practices are “ridiculous.”
As Sikhs who maintain uncut hair and wear turbans, we disagree with your assessment. Over the years, we have assisted numerous Sikhs who have maintained their dignity in the face of hate crimes, school bullying, job discrimination, and racial profiling due to prejudice against their Sikh identity. We are proud of our heritage and equally proud to live in a nation where people of all religions – or no religion – can work toward common ideals, such as equal opportunity and justice for all.
Religious minorities in other parts of the world are not so fortunate. Earlier this year, provincial legislators in Quebec passed a law that forbids public employees from wearing religious clothing. In 2004, France passed a law prohibiting children from wearing religious clothing in public schools. In both cases, majoritarian bias won out over minority rights, and we hope that your bias against Sikh religious practices will not interfere with your willingness to defend Sikhs and other religious minorities against human rights violations.
Public figures and elected representatives have the power to shape public attitudes and policies, and so we hope you understand our desire for reassurance. We note with appreciation that you have consistently spoken out against anti-Sikh hate crimes and hope you will go a step further by honoring our request. Thank you for your consideration.
Rajdeep Singh Jolly
Attorney, The Jolly Law Office PLLC
Blogger, American Turban