Attacks Against Sikhs on the Rise, But Are Often Unreported

RT Correspondent Trinity Chavez reports on the rise in hate crimes and the effect on the Sikh Community in America.

In a statement, the Sikh Coalition, America’s largest Sikh civil rights group, said that Sikhs are often targeted for hate crimes in part “due to the Sikh articles of faith, including a turban and beard, which represent the Sikh religious commitment to justice, tolerance and equality.”

In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh commanded all Sikhs to wear the “Five Ks” in order to identify themselves as a member of the Khalsa Panth, an army of the devout.

The “Five Ks” are:

Kesh (uncut hair),
Kara (a steel bangle),
Kanga (a wooden comb),
Kaccha (cotton underwear) and
Kirpan (a steel sword).

Hate crimes against Sikhs have come to the forefront again after a shooting in Kent, Washington when a Sikh man was shot in the arm while he was working on his own car. The FBI is assisting with the investigation into the shooting of the Sikh man in suburban Seattle because the male shooter allegedly told him to “go back to your own country.”

Sikhs have been the target of assaults in the U.S. since the September 11, 2001 attacks, considered a mistaken reaction targeting Radical Islamic Terrorists and mistaken identity, since both groups of men often cover their heads or sometimes refrain from shaving their beards.

On February 22, 2017 an Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed in a shooting in a Kansas City bar on Wednesday. The attack is suspected to be racially motivated, as the alleged shooter, Adam Purinton, shouted “get out of my country” at the two male Mideastern Indians before shooting into the bar and killing Kuchibhotla and injuring the other man. A bar employee was also shot as he attempted to detain the shooter.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died at University of Kansas Hospital and his colleague also suffered a gunshot wound to the leg. Adam Purinton, 51, was charged with murder and attempted murder on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

In 2012, a man shot and killed six Sikh worshippers and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin near Milwaukee before killing himself.

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