Sikh American Family Receives Death Threat

March 2nd, 2012

SALDEF Calls Upon FBI and Local Officials to Investigate Hate Incident

(3/2/12, Washington, DC)— This past Tuesday, February 28, 2012, a Sikh American family from Sterling, Virginia received a letter containing death threats addressed to ‘Turban Family’.

The text of the letter was as follows:

“Our People in the neighborhood have been closely watching your activities and figured out you are a close associate of a secret Taliban movement on the US Soil. We ask you to leave the country as soon as possible otherwise one of our people is going to shoot you dead. Don”t attempt to relocate somewhere else in America as people are closely monitoring your day to day activities.”

Click here to see the actual letter

This family has been the target of previous hate crimes as well.  In 2003, while living in Gaithersburg, Maryland their home was vandalized with graffiti and they received two threatening letters.  Then, in 2005, after moving to Leesburg, Virginia, they received two more death threats via mail.  In the latter of these cases, the FBI was able to apprehend a suspect for the threat.

SALDEF has been in contact with the FBI and local law enforcement and urges them to fully investigate this incident as a hate crime.

“Incidents like these are constant reminders of the challenges that Sikh Americans face as a result of our unique identity.  In the absence of awareness about who are and what we stand for, Sikh Americans continue to endure harassment, discrimination and threats which run counter to the American ideals ,” said SALDEF Associate Executive Director, Jasjit Singh. “We call upon local and federal law enforcement agencies to rightfully classify this incident as a hate crime and bring the perpetrators to justice to show that hate and violence are not tolerated in our society.”

SALDEF urges all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities.  

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