Monday, December 28, 2015
An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.
Yesterday morning, an elderly Sikh man wearing a blue turban was attacked as he waited for a ride. The assailants brutally beat him and then got in their car and struck him. Alhamdulillah the man, Mr. Amrik Singh, has been released from the hospital and is on his way to recovery. According to the FBI’s latest report, there were 6,418 hate crimes reported in the year 2014. This number is staggering dear friends.
Like Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans are innocent of the crimes of extremists such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other fanatical groups who enact terror around the world. And like Muslim-Americans, Sikh-Americans are hard-working, productive members of our society who want only to contribute to its welfare. Unfortunately, Sikh-Americans, due to the physical symbol of their faith: the turban, are easily identified.
Our country is a place of refuge for people of all religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. That is what makes our country so beautiful- the diversity of thought and expression from its citizens. These differences should not only be accepted, but respected and revered.
Unfortunately, there are people in our world who, motivated by hatred and misguidance, are driven to violence and crime. In addition, many of these crimes are committed falsely in the name of America while that very same America honors our differences. These acts need to be dealt with swiftly and sternly as to deter others from acting out their anger through violence.
The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno condemns brutality and violence against any and all of us. We pray for the recovery of Mr. Singh, and we implore our Creator to guide our community and world leaders to eradicate hatred and violence.
We additionally ask that our friends and neighbors refrain from language that suggests that Sikh men and women are the “wrong targets” because none of us are the “right targets.” No one should have to fear assault due to the perception of hateful people. We have to remain united against all terror and fanaticism because when one of us is attacked, we are all victims.