NEW YORK (TIP): Narain Kataria and Arish Sahani, President and Vice President respectively of the Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF) have condemned the racial attack on a Sikh student in Georgia. In a statement released to the press, they said, “We express our disgust, shock, anguish and pain at the racial attack on a Sikh student in Georgia. We deeply deplore such actions.”
“The shocking video of the Sikh boy seen sitting in what appears to be a school bus being racially abused and called “terrorist” by other students has gone viral all over the USA and created a sense of fear and insecurity in the minds of all our Sikh children.
“Moreover, this is not the first time that such type of racial and slanderous epithets have been thrown on our Sikh brothers. According to our information so far more than 200 incidents of mistaken identity against Sikhs have taken place.
“Sikhs are being targeted and victimized in this country because they are confused with Islamic terrorists because of their beards and turbans. Most Americans do not know that Sikhism originated in India. Sikh people in India have the reputation of being peace-loving, but also extremely brave, heroic and dignified people. In the historical past several of the Sikh gurus gave up their lives and suffered inhuman torture by the Muslims because they spoke up on behalf of Hindus. That is why we Hindus always remember the bravery and martial spirit of the Sikhs with great affection. The relationship between Hindus and Sikh is akin to the two arms of one body.
“It is a matter of great regret that because of their attire and beard, Sikhs are mistaken for cut-throat, radical Islamists. In fact, Sikhs have nothing to do with Islam, Middle East or Iranian people.
“Hence, we request the concerned authorities to take severe deterrent action against the perpetrators of such religious / racial hate crimes. We ask the US government to restore the positive image of Sikh people as peaceful and law-abiding citizens..