Obama states anti-Muslim rhetoric hurting Sikhs too

Obama states anti-Muslim rhetoric hurting Sikhs tooWASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has acknowledged that Sikh-Americans are often the target of threats and harassment as they are “perceived to be Muslims”.

Obama, while seeking to reassure Muslim-Americans in his historic address to minority community from the mosque in Baltimore, Maryland, termed the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric in the US poll campaign as “inexcusable”.

“Since 9/11, but more recently, since the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, you’ve seen too often people conflating the horrific acts of terrorism with the beliefs of an entire faith. And of course, recently, we’ve heard inexcusable political rhetoric against Muslim Americans that has no place in our country,” Obama said in a veiled jibe at Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump and others.

“No surprise, then, that threats and harassment of Muslim-Americans have surged,” he said yesterday. Obama pointed out that twice last year threats were made against children at the very mosque he was visiting.

“Around the country, women wearing the hijab have been targeted. We’ve seen children bullied. We’ve seen mosques vandalized. Sikh Americans and others who are perceived to be Muslims have been targeted, as well,” Obama said, noting that Sikh-Americans are often victimized for their appearance.

Obama’s acknowledgement of violence against Sikhs comes at a time when there have been a number of incidents of attacks and discrimination against the community.

A 68-year-old Sikh man was stabbed to death in California’s Fresno city on January 1 while in December another elderly Sikh man was brutally assaulted by two persons in Fresno.–PTI

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