This month, Sikhs celebrated the appointment of Guru Hargobind as the sixth Guru of the Sikhs in 1606, following the execution of the preceding Guru, Guru Arjun, by the Mughal emperor Jehangir for refusing to convert to Islam. Born to a prophecy that he would crush tyranny, Guru Hargobind represented a metamorphosis for the Sikh people — manifesting more than just spiritual practice but worldly practice as well. The commemoration of his ascension as Guru is a timely coincidence, for […]
The Sikh prayer called Ardaas (link) is an address before the All-Pervasive Immortal that is offered regularly by Sikhs in congregation. It concludes every service and is often offered ahead of an undertaking of a task by Sikhs to seek the Divine’s blessings and protection. The prayer is a defined set of verses that recounts Sikh history: the Gurus, those who sacrificed themselves, and custom verse at the end by the congregation specific to the context of the occasion. The Ardaas […]
“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside, but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho Road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s […]
In 2016, Buzzfeed News published a story about undocumented migration of Punjabi Sikhs to America in an article entitled “America’s Quiet Crackdown On Indian Immigrants”. Recounting the story of one migrant, the story traces the roots of the increasing migration and detention of Indian nationals in the US, looking at the affect political unrest and human rights violations in Punjab, India have had on those fleeing to the United States. According to the article, over 10,000 Indians arrive as undocumented […]
Over his two terms, President Obama has recognized the Sikh community (and seems comfortable in doing so) perhaps more than any other US president in history. In his recent speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, he makes reference to the Sikh American community as victims of anti-Islamic bigotry in the United States. However, it was lacking in specific proposals to help counter America’s Islamophobia.
David Noriega and John Templon write in Buzzfeed News about detention of Punjabi Sikhs at US borders who are seeking asylum. This well-written and comprehensive article connects the dots to the legacy of issues plaguing Punjab and its people today.
Categories: 1984, Civil Rights, News Bits • Tags: 1984, 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms, Buta Singh, Buzzfeed News, David Noriega, farmer suicides, Immigration, John Templon, Operation Blue Star, Punjab police, trafficking
While in 2012, the Republican Party offered sympathy and support to the Sikh American community, by 2016, this sentiment has ostensibly been disregarded — and even reversed — by the dominating Republican candidate for President who openly disparages a Sikh article of faith. And, there has been little tangible response from the Republican Party or the other Republican candidates to this incident or other similar protests. One wonders how or why this shift occurred.
Categories: Civil Rights, Hate Crimes, News Bits, Politics • Tags: Arashdeep Singh, Donald Trump, Iowa, Ishwar Singh, Muscatine, Nikki Haley, Oak Creek, Republican National Convention, Republican Party, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, xenophobia
In an article published in Lawfare, law professor Dawinder S. Sidhu offers an coincidental counterpoint to Monday’s post about the concept of “mistaken identity” and its use to explain hate crimes in which Sikh Americans are victims. Professor Sidhu finds that dismissing mistaken identity arguments is problematic and counter-productive to addressing hate crimes affecting the Sikh and Muslim communities in the post-9/11, post-Paris and post-San Bernardino environment.
“Mistaken identity” has become the de facto explanation for hate crimes perpetrated against members of the Sikh American community, the logic being that Sikhs are being targeted because their articles of faith — particularly the turban, men’s beard, and brown skin — are confused by attackers for identifiers of Muslims, the latter of whom are being confused as terrorists. Both law enforcement and Sikh community leaders have defaulted to this explanation, pointing to post-9/11 backlash as the causal motivation for […]