Sikh Americans Denounce the Terrorist Attack, Ask Americans To Unite

September 12th, 2001

Washington, D.C.– The Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force (SMART) and the Sikh American community would like to join their fellow Americans in condemning the horrific acts that took place on the morning of September 11, 2001. We are saddened by the tremendous loss of life from these actions, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims. We pray that the United States Government is able to swiftly bring those responsible for these atrocities to justice.

SMART encourages the Sikh American community to use particular caution for the next few weeks, as the enormity of this catastrophe continues to sink in. Because of yesterday’s terrorist attacks, blind anti-Muslim sentiment is running high throughout the nation. Since many Americans commonly mistake Sikhs for followers of Islam, or associated with Osama Bin Laden, there is a heightened potential for violent attacks directed against members of the Sikh community.

SMART also denounces the recent threats and attacks against the Muslim American community. Such racist stereotyping reminds us of one of the ugliest chapters in our nation’s history, when Japanese American citizens of our nation were herded into internment camps on American soil. We pray that all Americans display the compassion and good judgment to avoid repeating this folly. America is based on the principle of individual, not collective, responsibility for actions committed. All law-abiding citizens should be considered equal, regardless of race, religion, and other such distinction. Just as there was no rush to attack conservative Caucasian citizens after the Oklahoma city bombing, there should be no backlash against Muslim-Americans.

SMART encourages all Sikh Americans to do what they can in the effort to repair the damage caused by the events of Tuesday morning. In particular, we recommend giving blood at your local donation facility. All Sikh Americans extend their prayers and solidarity to those who have been affected by this devastating act of terrorism, and hope that the diverse members of our nation can come together as one in this time of national crisis.

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