Sikhs fight discrimination

More than 600 incidents of discrimination and violence reported
Facing mounting discrimination since the September 11 terrorist attacks, a number of Sikh-American groups have begun a campaign to explain their religion to the American public and to differentiate their beliefs from those of Muslims.

There have been more than 600 reported instances of discrimination and violence against Sikhs since September 11, according to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Because Sikh men wear turbans in accordance with their religious tradition, they often have been misidentified as Muslims and Arabs, leading some people to believe they are allied with the al-Qaeda terrorist network.

“My son and his friends were so badly harassed just because they [wear] the turban,” said Ladi Kaur, a Rockville, Maryland, woman who owns an auto parts wholesale firm and is a member of the Sikh community. “They are American children with . . . a different faith.”


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