UNITED SIKHS Presents at Washington Times Religious Freedom Conference: Highlights:
"Stop Religious Persecution Now!"
Washington, DC: On July 13, 2011, the Washington Times held a conference entitled "Stop Religious Persecution Now,"
which was an interactive discussion with over 200 people from all
faiths. Religious leaders and activists of many faith groups gathered
to express their views and experiences of religious persecution, and
called for acceptance of religious pluralism. They also discussed how
the great need is for the United States government to increase its
efforts in fighting religious discrimination both nationally and
internationally. The event was co-sponsored by the Washington Times
Foundation and the U.S. Chapter of the Universal Peace Federation.
- UNITED SIKHS spoke about the Religious
persecution of Sikhs at the "Stop Religious Persecution Now" Conference
hosted by the Washington Times.
- UNITED SIKHS works across the globe to
combat religious intolerance through advocacy and policy work, and
education and outreach. To view our 2010 Global Sikh Civil & Human
Rights Report, click here.
- If you feel you have been discriminated against and have questions about what to do about it, please contact email@example.com.
- Please Be Involved, Click here to get started!; To receive forthcoming bulletins join our UNITED SIKHS Yahoo group; To donate go to www.unitedsikhs.org/donate.
Image of Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador at Large For International Religious Freedom (center front) and
interfaith leaders, including UNITED SIKHS Senior Staff Attorney, Hansdeep Singh (center front)
Speakers and attendees included religious freedom advocates, lawmakers,
and representatives from various faith-based groups who represented
Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Baha’is,
Scientologists, and Unificationists. Rev. In Jin Moon, the keynote
speaker and president and CEO of the Holy Spirit Association for the
Unification of World Christianity, stated that "tolerating" or
"coexisting" with people from diverse faiths was simply not enough. "Do
we not belong to one family?" she asked, "How can you mistreat another
faith group just because you don't understand them, just because you
UNITED SIKHS Senior Staff Attorney Hansdeep Singh presented testimony
about the religious persecution of Sikhs focusing specifically on the
religious profiling that is increasingly prevalent in the United
States. To emphasize this point, UNITED SIKHS created a visual graphic
outlining some of the major challenges faced by Sikhs in the United
States post 9/11, including how the evolution of discriminatory
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security policies since
9/11 have an impact on: hate crimes, bullying, and employment
Panelists and attendees of the Conference
In his testimony, Mr. Singh highlighted the dehumanizing impact of TSA security policies because Sikhs are subject to mandatory additional screening. The handout
provided a visual depiction of the negative effects that policies such
as those currently being implemented by TSA have on minority
communities because such policies allow for religoius profiling, which
has ripple effects throughout the larger society. Also addressing the
attendees and interfaith leaders at the the Conference was Suzan
Johnson-Cook, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for
international religious freedom. She emphasized that, “Everyone should
have the right to believe or not believe" and that she has been and
will continue to fight for religious freedom globally.
The Conference also served as a platform to raise awareness of bill HR
1856 authored by Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Virginia). This bill
improves on the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) and
will ensure that the U.S. takes a more active role in safeguarding the
religious rights of all faith groups domestically and internationally.
UNITED SIKHS will continue to fight for the religious rights of Sikhs
to ensure that Sikhs have the ability to practice their religion freely
throughout the world. Some recent examples of our successes have been:
What can you do to get involved? Raise your voice! Educate others about Sikhism. Contact us by clicking here! Donate to our ongoing work by clicking here!
- Take a
look at the calendar of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11
below. Please show your support by attending these events, also
consider participating in these events to provide a Sikh perspective,
and to honor the victims of 9/11 and promote a peaceful tomorrow:
- Unheard Voices of 9/11: Community Hearings Hosted by Sikh Coalition from 1pm-4pm and on Saturday August 27th in San Francisco. Join this important discussion on the impact of 9/11 on the rights and liberties of Arabs, Muslims, and Sikhs.
- National Week of Action:
Reflecting on Our Loss and Reclaiming Our Rights Hosted by Rights
Working Group from September 11th -17th across the country, click here to view a map of events and find out more about how to get involved.
- An America for All of Us Campaign led by South Asian Americans Leading Together, click here to view events taking place across the country and find out more about how to get involved.
- Prepare New York is a coalition of interfaith organizations who are hosting a series of events surrounding the 10th anniversary of 9/11, click here to learn more and get involved in these events.
- New York Civil Liberties Union Panel Discussion
on the meaning of 9/11 taking place Wednesday September 7th from 10am
to noon at the New York County Lawyers' Association at 14 Vesey St.
- New York Civil Liberties Union 9/11 Memorial on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the corner of Church Street and Park Place.
- Inter-Faith Conference at Georgetown University from Sept. 8 to Sept. 10th. RSVP Required.
- Would you like to volunteer and work on religious freedoms issues? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Have you or someone you know been deprived
of the right to practice their faith freely? If so, e-mail the UNITED
SIKHS legal team at email@example.com
- Participate in education and awareness
efforts about Sikhs and Sikhism. For ideas, tools, and more information
on how to get involved, contact us at the e-mail address above and fill
out our volunteer form by clicking here.
Volunteer with UNITED SIKHS, and Donate to our civil rights advocacy projects.
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To transform underprivileged and minority
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society through civic, educational and personal development programs,
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and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that
there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow
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