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.
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 its 2015 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) continued to express concern about the state of religious freedom in India, particularly after the election of current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Placing India in its “Tier 2” category (which the USCIRF defines as “countries where the violations engaged in or tolerated by the government are serious and are characterized by at least one of the elements of the ‘systematic, ongoing, and […]
While he didn’t visit the Sikh faith’s holiest site during his trip to India two weeks ago, President Obama did create a bit of a stir as he openly advocated for religious freedom and peaceful coexistence of faiths in India, citing in his speech the mass murder of Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in 2012: Obama said no society is immune from man’s darkest impulses, as he raised the 2012 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin that killed six […]
On his state visit to India this week, President Barack Obama is not scheduled to make a visit to Harmandir Sahib (aka the Golden Temple), barring any unexpected developments. As he partakes in India’s Republic Day festivities in India’s capital, his itinerary seems to be focused on solidifying the business/political relationship between the US and India. As reported in the Washington Post: Officials said Obama and Modi are expected to conduct talks around the business climate, trade, climate change, Afghanistan and terrorism. […]
Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit to the United States, Rajdeep Singh of the Sikh Coalition provides some perspective on the controversial figure who until recently was even denied a travel visa to enter the country: In 2002, while Modi served as Chief Minister of Gujarat, over a thousand Muslims were massacred in retaliation for the deaths of 59 Hindu pilgrims, who burned to death when a train they were traveling in caught fire. Muslims were […]
Amardeep Kaleka, son of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin President Satwant Singh Kaleka who was killed by a white supremacist during last year’s mass shooting in Oak Creek, has announced that he is planning a run for US Congress as a Democrat, hoping to challenge his district’s incumbent Representative Paul Ryan (who also was Republican Mitt Romney’s running mate during the Presidential election last year): Kaleka said he wants to bring accountability and transparency back to Washington. He blamed the government […]
Categories: Hate Crimes, Politics • Tags: Amardeep Kaleka, Democratic Party, Milwaukee, Mitt Romney, Oak Creek, Paul Ryan, Rob Zerban, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, US Congress, Wisconsin
To the north, Canada’s province of Quebec is seeking to prohibit religious symbols such as the wearing of the turban, yarmulke or headscarf by public employees in a political maneuver believed to be veiled in secularism. The move by Quebec’s provincial government follows in the footsteps of the Quebec Soccer Federation, who earlier this summer attempted to ban the wearing of the turban in amateur soccer in the province (the ban was lifted after national and international criticism and objection). […]
As Vice President Joe Biden visits India this week, I was reminded of President Barack Obama’s visit to India in late 2010, in which he avoided visiting the Sikh holy city of Amritsar, Punjab, a site which reportedly draws up to a hundred thousand of visitors per day, not including Presidents of the United States. For a well-known location which has such appeal to Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike and to residents of and visitors to India, it was noteworthy that […]
Categories: 1984, Politics • Tags: 1984, 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Amritsar, anti-Sikh pogroms, Barack Obama, Darbar Sahib, drug trade, drugs, Golden Temple, Harmandir Sahib, Joe Biden, Mahatma Gandhi, November 1984, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, USCIRF, Vice President of the United States