by Bikramjit Singh
American Reporter Reader
Elk Grove, Calif.
September 15, 2001
SIKHS ASK UNDERSTANDING AFTER ATTACKS
ELK GROVE, Calif. -- I would like to express my anguish at the devilish attacks on the civilian American targets. Please accept my sympathy for the families of the victims.
I want to bring to your notice harassment of Sikh men who are being mistaken as Muslims. In Queens, New York, Tueday night an elderly man was shot. The shooter has been apprehended and in police custody. The Richmond Hill police are calling a press conference today to address the safety of Sikh residents of the area.
Wednesday another Sikh man was arrested by Rhode Island police from an Amtrak train. The knife he is said to have been carrying is a religious symbol that baptized Sikhs carry. The police was irresponsible in arresting a man without proper knowledge. I understand the stress under which the law enforcement agencies are working but they need not arrest innocent people and publicly humiliate them.
Sikhs men wear turbans. As emotions are running high as a consequence to Tuesday's attacks in New York and Washington DC, Sikhs are being victimized. The reason for the incidents is believed to be misunderstanding about the appearance of Sikh men. To the lay American, the Sikh with his turban and flowing beard looks very much like Saudi millionaire turned terrorist Osama bin Laden, who is suspected of being behind the attacks on the U.S. and whose images are being telecast regularly on all the news channels.
I would appreciate if you could publish a request to your readers to keep faith in the American government and its efforts to investigate the attacks and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. In the meantime it would be greatly appreciated if they were informed about Sikhs lest innocent people get harassed, physically abused and fatally wounded. Thank you for your consideration.