UNITED SIKHS CONDEMNS ATTACK ON SIKH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR

By Anisha Singh and Manmeet Singh

Dr. Prabhjot Singh

Dr. Prabhjot Singh image taken from Fox6

On Sunday, September 22, 2013, Dr. Prabhjot Singh was walking on 110th Street in upper Manhattan, New York, when individuals began yelling anti-Muslim remarks him.  They knocked Dr. Singh down and punched him several times in his face, resulting in bruising, swelling, a puncture in his elbow, and a possible fractured jaw.

Dr. Singh is a doctor in East Harlem and an assistant professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.  The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force and Columbia University’s Department of Public Safety are investigating this as a hate crime.

This is not the first time a Sikh American has been attacked while walking.  In California we have had many cases of Sikh Americans being attacked and in New York and New Jersey we have seen Sikh children being bullied and attacked in their own schools.  Due to misconceptions after September 11, 2001 and little knowledge about world religions, Sikhs are seen as members of Al Qaeda because their turbans and beards are equated with terrorism.

However, almost all turban wearers in the United States are actually followers of the Sikh faith, a religion which originated a little over 500 years ago in Northern India. These misconceptions have resulted in hate crimes across the country, bullying in schools, employment discrimination, and more.

Dr. Prabhjot Singh is a well-respected doctor, professor, and activist who did nothing wrong but follow his faith. He was attacked in New York, a city known as a melting pot due to its ethnically diverse population.  A city which embraces people of different faiths.  This attack comes 12 years after 9/11 proving that even in New York, ignorance is still deep rooted and people stereotype how a ‘real American’ should look.  Educating still remains an uphill task for Sikh civil rights organizations and advocacy groups.

UNITED SIKHS strongly condemns this attack and will continue to work towards educating and creating Sikh awareness to prevent such Hate crimes from occurring.  This attack and other aforementioned issues faced by the Sikh community will be brought to the attention of Congressional offices and agency officials at our annual Sikh Summit being held on October 22-24 in Washington, D.C. Members of the American Sikh Congressional Caucus will also be in attendance to address our topics of concern.

The community must remain strong and continue to report any incidents they face. Please contact UNITED SIKHS or fill out this form http://www.unitedsikhs.org/hate_crime/usa/hc.php if you fall victim to such a violent attack, bullying, or discrimination.

Prabhjot-Singh

Dr. Prabhjot Singh image taken from Think Progress

3 Comments

  1. pranay says:

    action should be taken
    and people should be educated

  2. I strongly condemn this attack. People are ignorant and religion never preeches violence. Every one has the right to follow their religion.

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