Justice, Homeland Security departments get religion training

Understanding religious minorities
The departments of Justice and Homeland Security have begun training employees to better understand and protect the civil liberties of American Muslims, Sikhs and other minority ethnic and religious groups in the long aftermath of September 11.

They also are attempting to involve Muslims and Sikhs in the “homeland security effort in a positive way,” said Daniel Sutherland, who was appointed as the first officer for civil rights and civil liberties at the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.

Both Muslim and Sikh Americans have dealt with increased prejudice, according to studies and crime reports, though Sikhs adhere to a monotheistic religion founded in India that is not associated with Islam. The discrimination ranges from the inconvenience of airport searches to the death of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turban-wearing Sikh from India who was gunned down just days after the 9/11 attacks by a man who mistook him for a Muslim.

 

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