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  • Writer's pictureShamsher singh

Discrimination and Hate Crimes Against Sikh Community Increased Worldwide

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

According to the most recent FBI data, Sikhs remain in the top three most frequently targeted groups for religiously-motivated hate crimes and bias incidents nationwide. The recent attack on the Sikh man in Richmond Hill over the weekend was yet another despicable display of hatred and cowardice. The victim, identified as 70 years old Nirmal Singh, was walking at approximately 6:45 a.m. around Lefferts Boulevard and 95th Avenue within the confines of the 102nd Precinct when an unidentified individual punched him in the nose causing him to fall to the ground. Racial stereotyping and attacks because of skin colour are something that Indian Americans have had to live with, particularly after 9/11. Members of the Sikh community, who form the largest number of Indian immigrants in North America, came face-to-face with racial stereotyping and hate crimes In another horrific incident , An Indian-origin Sikh taxi driver was assaulted by an unidentified man in the US recently on January 09. The assaulter knocked off his turban and also used expletives against him outside the JFK International Airport. Singh’s experience was another example of the gaps in the way hate crimes are recorded and reported — for several communities, but especially Sikhs, who are often misunderstood by the public and law enforcement because of their unique religious traditions, like covering their hair with turbans. They are among several groups for which hate crime data may be failing to reveal the scale of the problem. Several high-profile incidents against Sikhs have included discussion of hate crime as motivation. For years, the Sikh community, including the advocacy group the Sikh Coalition, pushed authorities to recognize anti-Sikh hate crimes, and the FBI agreed to start doing so in 2015. Since then, the department has tracked 142 anti-Sikh incidents as part of the annual UCR program, which aggregates numbers from law enforcement agencies across the country. There are an estimated 500,000 Sikhs living in America. Since September last year, local police officers have been investigating a number of incidents in Harris Park of Sydney, Australia. In the first incident on September 16, a man was struck several times in the head with a baseball bat and then kicked when on the ground by a group of five men. On February 14, a man driving a car was allegedly attacked by a group of up to five men, holding sticks and other weapons. On February 28, a group of people traveling in a vehicle was allegedly attacked by up to 10 men, seriously damaging the vehicle. According to statistics and research the majority of Sikh children, over 50 per cent, have endured school bullying. Over two-thirds or 67 per cent reported that they were bullied in school, and turban Sikh children experienced bullying at more than double the national rate. Turban-wearing Sikh lads are referred to as terrorists, and girls are mocked for having long hair. And many of these children are subjected to violence. Sikhs are being labelled as terrorists or supporters of terrorist groups that are targeting nations in the west. This has made them easy targets of the hate crimes since the 9/11 terror strikes in the United States. All Sikhs who have earned a name for themselves in their adopted country, including the elected representatives and those who are close to the corridors of power, need to take up this issue seriously . we need to take steps to make the Governments in power to examine and ultimately dismantle 9/11 era policies that have perpetuated and exacerbated discrimination against Sikh communities.



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