In many parts of the world, turbaned and bearded Siks are confused with Islamic radicals. The number of hate crimes against Sikhs have seen another spike since the Paris attacks and the San Bernardino shooting.
In the wake of these events, Harmeet Singh, an American Sikh, has posted a strong message on Facebook for all those who can’t differentiate between ‘Sikhs and Muslims’.
“They tell me the average American associates a turban and a beard with ISIS, Taliban, or Bin Laden. That’s ok because the average Sikh does not have fear in their vocabulary,” he wrote.
Singh goes on to describe that his religion teaches them tolerance, how to love their enemies, and how to protect everyone around them, even those that they do not agree with. “You think if you intimidate us we will go running ‘back to our country’ as you heckle commonly, however, we will not go back but only dig our heals stronger to prove that not only are we not afraid but we have the resolve to overcome your anger,” he wrote.
His post has gone viral and is being appreciated by many. A follower has described it as ‘best post on Facebook’ and another praised Singh asking him to continue ‘educating the ignorant people’.
Recently, a Sikh basketball player became a racist meme and a man posted a video of a Sikh man sleeping next to him under the title ‘Would you feel safe?’ Singh’s post reminds one of the constant humiliation a community has to face because of their identity. In many countries, Sikhs shave off their beards and hair for safety reasons. But Singh says that an ‘Average Sikh’ will be out there with their turbans and beards ‘easy to spot’ and ready for any challenge that may be presented.
On December 14, a day before this message was posted, President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett held a meeting with representatives of Sikh community living the US and said “You are part of such a vital member of our community and a big and vibrant part of what makes our country so great. So when your community comes under attack, we are all in danger,” reports Yahoo News.