Vandalism at the Sikh Gurdwara in Fresno, CA.
Photo courtesy of Christian Parley, The Fresno Bee.

Post 9-11 History of Discrimination

It remains true today, in the ancient tradition of ignorance,
that people of faith and otherwise good sense hasten
to ostracize and demonize any person or group
whose beliefs and customs are unlike their own.

Immediately after September 11, 2001, an epidemic of hate crimes against minorities swept the United States and other countries. The wave of hate crimes and hate violence affected Muslims especially, and anyone perceived to be a Muslim, e.g., Sikhs, Arabs, South Asians, Latinos, and other brown-skinned people. Incidents occurred in every part of the public sphere: houses, roadways, workplaces, airports, school grounds, and street corners, as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and gurdwaras in nearly every major city in the United States. In targeted communities, places of worship have been burned, homes vandalized, families threatened, jobs denied, children bullied, women harassed, men and women beaten and murdered.* See More Recent Videos. See Sikh Security Measures.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Top left, Satwant Singh, Sita Singh, and Paramjit Kaur,
Bottom left, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, and Suveg Singh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Dalbir Singh of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, murdered in his store.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sunday, August 5, 2018
51-year-old Turlock man attacked

Monday, August 6, 2018
71-year-old Sacramento man attacked

See Suspect Apprehended.

NOTE: The incidents documented in the videos above are by no means a comprehensive listing. Many other Sikhs have faced similar attacks in the U.S.

Balbir Singh Sodhi: Shot to death
     September 15, 2001, Mesa, Arizona

Surinder Singh Sidhu: Beaten
     December 12, 2001, Los Angeles, California

Sukhpal Singh Sidhu: Shot to death
     August 6, 2002, Daly City, California

Avtar Singh Cheira: Shot twice (survived)
     May 19, 2003, Phoenix, Arizona

Rajinder Singh Khalsa: Beaten unconscious
     July 11, 2004, New York City, New York

Sukhvir Singh: Beaten, threatened with death
     November 24, 2007, Seattle, Washington

Jasmine Singh: Beaten, loses an eye
     January 18, 2009, New York City, New York

Harbhajan Singh: Beaten
     November 28, 2010, West Sacramento, California

Surrender Singh & Gurmej Atwal: Shot to death
     March 4, 2011, Elk Grove, California

Six Sikhs: Massacred
     August 5, 2012, Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Piara Singh: Beaten unconscious
     May 5, 2013, Fresno, California

Sandeep Singh: Run over with a truck
     July 30, 2014, New York City, New York

Inderjit Singh Mukker: Beaten unconscious
     September 8, 2015, Chicago, Illinois

Balwinderjit Singh: Beaten
     November 6, 2015, Los Angeles, California

Amrik Singh Bal: Beaten, hit with a car
     December 26, 2015, Fresno, California

Gurcharan Singh Gill: Stabbed to death
     January 1, 2016, Fresno, California -- See Video.



National Sikh Campaign 2014 Survey of Americans
Question: What is your impression upon seeing these people?

Sikh men with turbans and beards have been most affected by post 9-11 hate crimes. This backlash violence has been primarily directed at those perceived to resemble the enemy -- a turbaned and bearded Osama bin Laden, the leader of the radical Al-Qaeda. But the people who wear turbans in the United States are Sikhs, members of the world’s fifth largest religion who trace their heritage to the Punjab region of India. See GoodGuysWearTurbans.com.

On September 15, 2001 in Mesa, Arizona, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man, became the first person murdered in the hate epidemic. Out of the estimated nineteen people murdered in the immediate aftermath, four were turbaned Sikh men. See March 6, 2011 killing of 2 Sikh men. See the 'Dream in Doubt' video.

Rana Singh and Harjit Singh hold photo of slain brother, Balbir Singh Sodha.

Rana Singh holds a photo, left, and stands, right, at the Arizona
9-11 memorial to his slain 49 year old brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi.

Many hate crimes and incidents have gone unreported.

The federal government officially reported a 1700 per cent increase in ‘anti-Muslim’ hate crimes, just from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001. And this only includes crimes both reported to and recorded by police departments. Community and civil rights groups have reported thousands of hate incidents in the years following 9-11, including at least nineteen murders.

Hate crimes are only the tip of the iceberg.

Violent hate crimes are the most obvious manifestation of a wide range of racism and prejudiced behavior, including verbal harassment, threats, staring, and avoidance. Qualitative research documents subtle forms of discrimination that do not appear in police statements or newspaper reports -- Sikhs, Muslims, and South Asians treated as perpetually foreign, alien, laughable or un-American. Millions of Sikh, Muslim, and Arab Americans have experienced subtle or overt forms of the post 9-11 hate epidemic.

Hate crimes and incidents have profoundly negative effects on targeted communities. In a recent Harvard study, 83 per cent of Sikh Americans, reported that they or someone they knew personally experienced a hate crime or incident, and 64 per cent expressed fear of danger to themselves and their families. Many members of the Sikh American community face deep-seated feelings of fear, insecurity, and disorientation. Others indicate bitterness or anger. Still others channel their frustration into positive, hopeful responses. It is clear that the hate epidemic has dramatically altered the social and psychological well-being of Sikh Americans and other minority groups.

State-sponsored discriminatory treatment of Sikhs, Muslims, Arabs, immigrants, and non-citizens is ongoing. “Private violence” is carried out by citizens, “public violence” by the United States government.

Soon after the immediate outbreak of private violence, our government began to allow greater provisions for racial profiling in both immigration enforcement and domestic security programs. While these provisions were meant to protect our national security, they have violated and further alienated groups who fall into designated categories. These groups include turbaned Sikhs who have consistently experienced public violence in the form of employment discrimination, immigration enforcement, targeted security searches, or prisoner abuse.

The hate epidemic persists today.

Many believe that these hate crimes disappeared after the initial 9-11 aftermath. However, spikes in hate violence in the United States correspond with terrorism abroad as well as critical moments in the U.S. war in Iraq. At the onset of the war in Iraq, three turbaned Sikh cab drivers were shot in the San Francisco Bay Area alone. Due to inconsistent classification and tracking procedures at local, state, and federal levels, there is no way to provide exact statistics for present-day hate crimes. While the number of hate crimes has not returned to levels reported in the aftermath of 9-11, qualitative research confirms that Sikh, Muslim, and Arab Americans continue to experience subtle yet damaging forms of discrimination in both private and public realms. See MSNBC reporting of the March 2011 murder of Sikh man in California. See U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's comments.

Hate Crimes Continue In 2012

Arson at a Sikh business just prior to 9-11 commoration in North Carolina.

On September 8th, police were called in the middle of the night to the burning of State Line Grocery store, owned by Arvinder Singh in Clay County, NC. "9-11 Go Hom"' was spray painted along the wall of the grocery store and although locals believe this to be a hate crime, the investigation will continue. News reports confirm that Mr. Singh was not harmed, and was in his home nearby. This being a suspected arson crime, police are investigating. See How Secure Is Your Gurdwara? --

*Sources available upon request at: info@dwf-film.com.

See 'Divided We Fall' film. Also see 2012.

"Human is a blend of saint and soldier; this is a complete person. If you
are not a soldier your sainthood will be kicked around. If you are only a
soldier, not a saint, you will start kicking others around." Yogi Bhajan 8/6/1975


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