UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
June 17, 2011
3rd Haarh (Samvat 543 Nanakshahi)
Community Alert
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Hate Crime Perpetrated Against Sikh Gentleman on
New York City Subway over Memorial Day Weekend:
UNITED SIKHS reaches out to family, local police, and federal agencies to ensure proper investigation; community asked to be vigilant, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
  • UNITED SIKHS has contacted local law enforcement and federal agencies to ensure that thorough investigations will be conducted to bring the perpetrator to justice.
  • UNITED SIKHS will be working across the nation to forge relationships with Hate Crimes Joint Task Forces.  If you are interested in joining these Task Forces in your area, please contact law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.
  • Hate Crimes have seen a significant resurgence against Sikhs; 5 cases that have been classified or are being investigated as hate crimes within the last 9 months.
  • To reach the New York City Police Department's Hate Crime Task Force directly, dial 888-440-HATE. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

New York, NY: On Memorial Day, Jiwan Singh was attacked on the "A" train by a perpetrator who accused Mr. Singh of being the brother of Osama Bin Laden, and then proceeded to violently attack him, knocking out several teeth.

The UNITED SIKHS legal team in New York has contacted the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division, the DOJ Community Relations Service, the New York Police Department, and will be reaching out to the U.S. Attorney in New York to ensure that a proper investigation is being conducted and that swift action is being taken in response to this atrocious event.

Senior Staff Attorney for UNITED SIKHS, Hansdeep Singh, stated that "we have seen a disturbing increase in the demonizing of certain minority communities - from events like the Peter King Hearings to current Immigration policies. We have seen the continuation of racial and religious profiling of communities with distinctive religious dress at airports. Sikhs are continually subject to multiple levels of mandatory screening where others are not. And we have seen the continued perpetuation of stereotypes through media and now even Government Representatives that aim to mislead the general public into equating the wearing of the turban with extremism/ terrorism. If these trends continue, the Sikh, Muslim, and South Asian communities will only see more bigotry and violence perpetrated upon them." Attorney Singh calls on both the community and the government to act, "Together, we need to work tirelessly to educate others and to prevent these heinous acts from occurring in the future. Those committing or encouraging crimes of hate and bias need to be held accountable for their actions."

UNITED SIKHS offers its sympathies to the victim and his family, who have now twice faced intolerable violence on the streets. Mr. Singh's son was the victim of a violent attack back in January 2009, when he was stabbed in the eye with a broken bottle and suffered the loss of sight in one eye (For details- click here. UNITED SIKHS worked to advocate for the apprehension and prosecution of the attacker).
                                                                        What can YOU do?
  • Enroll in our Sikh Awareness training session. Contact us at 1-888-243-1690 or email unitedsikhs-usa@unitedsikhs.org and we will empower you with the knowledge and material needed to create awareness about the Sikh community and to be able to share that knowledge with others!
  • Be alert and vigilant!
  • Join local Joint Hate Crimes Task Forces by contacting UNITED SIKHS legal team at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org

In recent months, the Sikh community has been victim to at least 5 attacks that are currently being prosecuted or investigated as hate crimes. In March, 2 elderly Sikh gentlemen were gunned down while taking their daily walk together in Sacramento, California (For details, click here). Other violent attacks against Sikhs have occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada and Atlanta, Georgia -UNITED SIKHS has requested that these crimes be investigated as hate/ bias motivated crimes.

The Sikh community across the nation needs to be on the alert and must report any incidences of hate or bias motivated threats or violence. UNITED SIKHS urges law enforcement and lawmakers to ensure that thorough investigations will be conducted to identify the perpetrator of this crime and emphasizes the need for trainings &  ongoing dialogues  in order to raise awareness about who Sikhs are.

To report a hate crime to UNITED SIKHS, please click here.

UNITED SIKHS is continuing to work with lawmakers and like-minded organizations to form hate crime prevention task-forces throughout the nation, in order not only to prevent violent acts such as these from being perpetrated against members of the Sikh community but also to be able to respond quickly and effectively on the local level when hate crimes occur.

         Support advocacy work to stop bias based crimes against Sikhs and other minority communities.
            Engage and Volunteer with UNITED SIKHS, and Donate to our civil rights advocacy projects.

Issued by:

Ilana Ofgang
Legal Fellow

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Do you know what to do if you witness or are involved in a HATE CRIME?

The answers are in our HATE CRIME INFORMATION CARD.

Access them by clicking here for the   English version and here for Panjabi.

Please contact 1-888-243-1690 or email unitedsikhs-usa@unitedsikhs.org to request these cards by mail.

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