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 […]
Never admitting that he had reached a continent previously unknown to Europeans, rather than the East Indies he had set out for, Columbus called the inhabitants of the lands he visited indios (Spanish for “Indians“). — Wikipedia entry on Christopher Columbus. Americans celebrate Columbus Day in October each year in honor Christopher Columbus, the Spanish explorer who landed in the Caribbean in search of a westerly trade route to Asia in 1492. This year, the commemoration occurs on Monday, October 14. […]
After the subway hate crime in New York a week ago, Laurie Patton, in Religion Dispatches, suggests an approach beyond that of education to combat hate crimes: A second focus is necessary: we might view such confusions of identity as opportunities to make common cause with other victims of hate crimes in America. The fact that Erika Menendez included both Hindus and Muslims in her rage means that both groups continue to be vulnerable in the United States. The fact […]