October 27 2010
13th Katik (Samvat 542 Nanakshahi)
Press Release

Sikhs Join Interfaith Efforts in Support of Peace, Tolerance and Religious Liberty

UNITED SIKHS Promotes Unity & Acceptance in Memory of 9/11


  • Sikhs join Interfaith organizations in solidarity against intolerance, discord and prejudice
  • Sikhs and other minority communities asked to be vigilant in light of recent hate crimes, and to educate their communities through 'know your rights' campaigns.

New York, NY: Members and volunteers of UNITED SIKHS joined Interfaith organizations in solidarity against intolerance, discord and prejudice to commemorate the lives lost on September 11, 2001.  Through these events and in support of communities unfairly targeted in the backlash of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, UNITED SIKHS and other organizations stand in support of the fact that religious intolerance is not in line with American values.

On Friday, September 10, 2010, UNITED SIKHS attended the “Vigil for American Values”, coordinated by the New York Neighbors for American Values and supported by the Interfaith Center of New York. Centered on the theme of “Understanding, Acceptance and the Love of Neighbors,” the event was attended by elected officials and religious leaders. Dr. Tejal Kaur, UNITED SIKHS volunteer, spoke on the importance of unity among people of different faiths and our duty to protect others from the Sikh perspective. The vigil took place on the corner of Church Street and Park Place in Downtown Manhattan from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Click here to see a part of the event.

Dr. Tejal Kaur, speaking at the Candlelight Vigil   The Vigil attracted nearly 2000 people, who attended to show their support

Lately, New York City has watched while members of different communities have been victims of hate crimes, including a Muslim Taxi Driver, numerous members of the Latino community, and most recently, members of the Gay community. As Dr. Tejal Kaur says in her speech at the Candlelight vigil, "Sikh headcoverings provide the equally important purpose of serving to create an external identity so that a Sikh may always be distinguished in a crowd as someone who must act in the defense of others.  Ironically, it is that same external identity which has placed Sikhs at risk for hate crimes and civil liberties violations. Yet, instead of saying, “Do not discriminate against us, we are not Muslim,” the values of the Sikh faith demand that a Sikh stand up and demand that NO ONE, REGARDLESS OF FAITH OR CREED BE BARRED FROM PRACTICING THEIR FAITH FREELY. THAT NO ONE, BE DENIED JUSTICE AND COMPASSION."

On Saturday, September 11, 2010, UNITED SIKHS Volunteer Satkiran Kaur Khalsa joined members of different faith communities and represented Sikhs by reciting verses from the Gurbani in reflection for the loss of life and in the spirit of promoting unity and acceptance at the 9th Annual Floating Lanterns Ceremony.  New York Buddhist Church led the ceremony with the assistance of the Interfaith Center of New York at South Side of Pier 40 (W. Houston St. & West Street) from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. The ritual replicated the one in Hiroshima  Japan which commemorates the victims of the atomic bombings during WWII. As one of the key partners, UNITED SIKHS provided langar to attendees at the ceremony.

Satkiran Kaur Khalsa, reciting verses from the Gurbani   Members of different faiths who also led attendees in an Interfaith Prayer session

UNITED SIKHS urges community members to be alert, be aware and know your rights.

To notify UNITED SIKHS of a hate crime or to know more about your rights, please contact us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.


For a previous press release on advocacy, please see: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-14-10-2010-00.html

Issued by:
Rucha Kavathe
Media and Communications Coordinator

UNITED SIKHS is grateful to The Sikh Cultural Society for providing langar at the Floating Lanterns Ceremony.

We are also grateful to the following volunteers who assisted with the langar sewa:

  • Bhupinder Singh Boparai
  • Ajit Singh
  • Gurtej Singh
  • Nand Singh
  • Sajjal Singh
  • Kuldeep Singh
  • Kabir Singh
  • Harbhaan Singh
  • Mangal Singh
  • Iqbal Singh
  • Gurdev Singh
  • Jaswinder Singh
  • Lambar Singh
  • Sukhwinder Singh
  • Sumerjeet Kaur
  • Gurmeet Singh
  • Sukhdev Singh
  • Kishan Kaur
  • Satnam Kaur

UNITED SIKHS urges community members to be alert, be aware and know your rights.

To notify UNITED SIKHS of a hate crime or to know more about your rights, please contact us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

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To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

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Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.