|Toronto Sikh Celebration (Joel Friesen)|
The level of religious literacy in the United States today is often quite low. Stereotypes abound, and prejudices run rampant.
There are therefore those who staunchly believe that anyone who wears a turban is a Muslim, and that all Muslims are terrorists. These believers can be quite dangerous, as is evidenced by the ongoing violent attacks upon American Sikhs.
Liz Goodwin of Yahoo News recently reported that a "group of more than 20 young men viciously attacked a [Sikh] Columbia
University professor over the weekend, apparently because they
believed he was a Muslim." The attack was so bad that Professor Prabhjot Singh needed "facial surgery to
correct his jaw after the beating, which occurred near his home in Harlem..."
This is far from an isolated incident. Goodwin stated that there have been "more than 300 hate crimes
against Sikhs like Singh in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks..." A particularly destructive one was the 2012 attack by a white supremacist on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six people dead."
Ironically, Singh had co-authored a New York Times op-ed article last year which urged "the F.B.I. to begin tracking anti-Sikh violence." The same article also urged that the F.B.I. "continue to vigorously combat bias
and discrimination against all Americans, including Muslims."
Copyright September 24, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved