Stop Arizona From Removing Balbir Singh Sodhi from 9/11 Memorial

April 26th, 2011

UPDATE 5/2/11: Arizona Governor Brewer vetos bill.  Read more here.

April 26, 2011: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is deciding on signing a bill to remove Balbir Singh Sodhi’s name from the state’s 9/11 memorial and sell his memorial plaque as scrap metal.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition urging Gov. Brewer to veto the bill

Arizona Representative John Kavanagh introduced the bill because Sodhi “was not a 9/11 victim.” In fact, Mr. Kavanagh believes the tragic hate crime was unconnected to 9/11. SALDEF is outraged at the disrespect the Arizona state legislature has shown Mr. Sodhi’s memory, family, and the Sikh American community. The efforts by Mr. Kavanaugh and his colleagues to deny the fact that Mr. Sodhi’s murder was a consequence of 9/11 is completely unfounded, unacceptable, and shows a complete failure in leadership.

READ MORE: Mesa man pushes to keep brother’s name on Sept. 11 memorial (Arizona Republic)

On September 15, 2001, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh American gas station owner, was the first hate-crime related murder fatality in the wave of post-9/11 backlash. He was murdered outside of his Chevron gas station in Mesa, Arizona by a man who wanted to ‘kill a Muslim’ in retaliation for the terrorist attacks. He selected Mr. Sodhi simply because he had a beard and wore a turban in accordance with his Sikh faith.

SALDEF implores the Sikh American community to take action against letting Arizona rewrite history and trivialize the first hate crime in the wake of 9/11. Sign the petition urging Gov. Brewer to veto this insensitive and offensive bill.

As we approach the ten year anniversary of Mr. Sodhi’s death, do not allow the voice of victims of hate to be silenced. Take action now and forward this to your family and friends.

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