From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

American Sikhs

Guru Nanak, Founder of Sikhism    (Public Domain)
If you’re lying on the street desperate and someone offers you a job, what would your first instinct be?

Might you shout, “Praise God, my luck has changed,” or instead think, “No way - this suspicious do-gooder is wearing a turban!”

The latter actually occurred two years back when Amritpal Singh, a Sikh businessman from Visalia, California, offered a man who was sleeping on the sidewalk “a job at a carwash Singh owns.”  At first the man replied, “You have a turban.  I shouldn’t go with you.”  He later accepted Singh’s offer, and has since saved enough to buy himself a car.

Singh's offer was in keeping with Sikh philosophy, which promotes “racial equality, gender equality, religious tolerance.”  These are also American values, yet Sikhs in the United States are often the target of religious prejudice.

When “Daily Show” interviewer Hasan Minhaj recently asked a group of Sikhs why they don’t “distance themselves from hate crimes” by saying, “Hey, I’m not Muslim,” a group member replied:  It’s just not an option for us to throw another community under the bus. Sikhs are instead attempting to offset such hatred by educating the American public about their “world’s fifth largest religion.”                                                                                                                                         

Copyright July 5, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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