Magazine article The Christian Century

Male Sikhs Fear Misdirected Attacks

Magazine article The Christian Century

Male Sikhs Fear Misdirected Attacks

Article excerpt

Sikhs living in the U.S. wear turbans, they grow beards, and many carry a small replica of a sword to remind them to work for justice. Now, in the wake of terrorist attacks, many live in fear of reprisals, say leaders of the Sikh community in America. "We may look different, but we have the same anguish, the same anger," said Jayant Kalotra, a business executive in northern Virginia.

Kalotra and other Sikh leaders gathered together September 17 to raise awareness that they are among 1.8 million U.S. citizens of Indian descent. Their religion incorporates elements of both Hinduism and Islam, but they have no connection to terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon, they said.

Within the first week after the plane crashes up to 100 incidents of violence against Sikhs had been reported across the country, Kalotra said at a news conference in Washington. The most grievous of those was the murder on September 15 of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a gas station operator in Mesa, Arizona. …

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