Durbin, Local Sikhs Condemn Hate Crimes

By Daday, Eileen O. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

Durbin, Local Sikhs Condemn Hate Crimes


Daday, Eileen O., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

A Sikh college student from Wayne, along with a group of other Sikhs, asked Sen. Dick Durbin for help making sure their rights and safety were protected in these days of high racial tension.

What 20-year-old Amrith Kaur Mago got was the Illinois senator's full support, as well as a visit by him to her Palatine church on Sunday.

Mago, a student at George Washington University in Washington, was among 15 students and young professionals working on a committee that appealed to the Democratic senator last week for legislation to protect Sikh-Americans in wake of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks.

"We realized that there was no specific legislation to protect our rights," Mago said. "Safety is our biggest concern."

They helped Durbin and his staff draft a resolution to condemn hate crimes against Sikh-Americans. The measure has 15 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

Durbin expects to introduce it this week but chose to make the announcement at the Sikh Religious Society of Chicago on Sunday.

"Certainly we understand that hate crimes aren't acceptable against any Americans, but particularly against those who are practicing their religion," he said. "My one hope is that out of this tragedy, every American will come to understand other Americans."

While the resolution does not change current hate laws, it does reinforce that the American government will not tolerate hate crimes against Sikh-Americans, or any other Americans, Durbin said. …

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