For Sikhs in New York, a Decade of Progress Since 9/11 Backlash


From The Wall Street Journal:

Sikhism is the world’s fifth-largest religion. For observant men, wearing a turban is mandatory. Another requirement, to carry a kirpan, or dagger, has been contentious in the heightened security of the post-9/11 era. Sikhs also refrain from cutting their hair and beards.

The religion is totally distinct from Islam, and no Sikh was among the Sept. 11th terrorists, yet turbaned Sikhs have often been incorrectly associated with al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who also wore a turban and a beard.

Many Sikhs in the U.S. still grapple with the unexpected fallout from the late terrorist leaders’s most notorious act. Last month, the Sikh Coalition held a community hearing in Manhattan on discrimination and violence in the years since.

“There’s been a significant decline in hate crimes, but the average American still does not know about Sikhs,” said Amardeep Singh, director of programs for the organization. “The backlash after 9/11 was horrific but not surprising. There has always been discrimination. And there still is a good amount of it, especially in schools, workplaces and airports.”

To read the complete article:  9/11 Anniversary – For Sikhs in New York, a Decade of Progress Since 9/11 Backlash.

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