Racial attack on Sikh boy condemned widely

From the video shot by Sikh boy
From the video shot by Sikh boy

NEW YORK: Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF), a New York based organization of Indian Americans, has expressed its deep sense of shock and regret at the racial attack on a Sikh student in Georgia.

The video of the Sikh boy seen sitting in what appears to be a school bus being racially abused and called “terrorist” by other students has gone viral all over the USA and created a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of all our Sikh children.

The video shows the Sikh boy sitting on his own, filming his abusers on his mobile phone as they hurl racist insults at him in childish voices.

The worrying video, distorted here to protect the identities of the children, has been uploaded to YouTube and has been watched more than 472,000 views since it was added on February 28.

This is not the first time that such racial and slanderous epithets have been thrown on our Sikh brothers. According to information so far, more than 200 incidents of mistaken identity against Sikhs have taken place, says Narain Kataria, President of IAIF.

Sikhs are being targeted and victimized in this country because they are confused with Islamic terrorists as they also wear beards and turbans. Most Americans do not know that Sikhism originated in India.

Sikh people in India have the reputation of being peace-loving, but also extremely brave, heroic and dignified people. In fact, Sikhs have nothing to do with Islam, Middle East or Iranian people.

There instances galore in history where Muslim rulers persecuted and tortured Sikhs for their being non-Islamic and siding with Hindus in India. Some of the Sikh gurus gave up their lives and suffered inhuman torture by the Muslims because they spoke up on behalf of Hindus.

IAIF has strongly pitched to the concerned authorities to take severe deterrent action against the perpetrators of such religious / racial hate crimes. “We ask the US government to restore the positive image of Sikh people as peaceful and law-abiding citizens”, added Kataria.

Sikhs in Amritsar and New Delhi have also condemned the racial attack on the Sikh boy in the US state of Georgia. Politicians cutting across party lines have condemned the incident.

The attack is just one in a series of such incidents against the Indian community in the US. A man of Indian origin was shot dead in his liquor store in New Jersey. Last month, an Indian man was left paralyzed after being brutally beaten by cops in Alabama.

Slamming the attack, chief Sikh priest Gurbachan Singh said Sikhs are being targeted in the United States because of mistaken identity.

“We have warned the Sikh community living in US to beware of the continuous attacks. Sikhs are a different community. Their attire and beard are different from other religious groups but they are being subjected to continuous attacks by mistakenly taking them as Muslims,” he said.

India Post News Service

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