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Sikh Student's turban set ablaze ..........

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, May 13, 2008.

  1. Archived_Member16

    Archived_Member16
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    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/05/sikh_students_turban_set_on_fi.html

    Sikh student's turban set ablaze during school fire drill

    by Jeff Diamant/The Star-Ledger
    Monday May 12, 2008, 8:45 PM


    A routine fire drill at Hightstown High School in Mercer County turned terrifying for one student.

    As students gathered outside on school grounds one morning last week, someone came up behind a 16-year-old junior, a member of the Sikh faith, and allegedly set the boy's turban on fire.

    His hair was singed in several places, but he was otherwise unhurt, according to his uncle, Harjot Pannu.

    "He felt like a bee stung him, and he patted on it," said Pannu. "Next thing he knew, a teacher came over and told him he was on fire."

    An 18-year-old Hightstown senior, Garrett Green, was arrested hours later and charged with arson and criminal mischief, said Ben Miller, an investigator with the Hightstown Police Department.

    "I was very angry and very upset and very mad initially, I could not even think straight," said the victim's mother, Sukjhot Kaur, who asked that her son's name not be printed. "The fact that something like this could have happened is beyond comprehension, especially in this day and age with the diversity we have and the way we are taught ... There should never be any fear of violence."

    More than a quarter-million Sikhs live in the United States, according to an attorney with the Sikh Coalition in New York, Harsimran Kaur (no relation to Sukjhot). Since 9/11, there have been at least 600 reported bias incidents against Sikhs in this country, he said, including one homicide in Arizona.

    New Jersey is home to one of the five largest populations of Sikhs in the nation, with somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 residing here, according to Kaur.

    "Sikhs are visibly identifiable as being different because most Sikh men wear a turban," said the coalition's lawyer, Kaur. "The only association that the general public sees with turbans is Osama bin Laden, or Middle East terrorists. Sikhs have nothing to do with terrorism. Our turban is an article of faith that's religiously mandated."

    Sukjhot Kaur, whose husband died of cancer 10 years ago, works for the U.S. Postal Service and she and her son live with her brother, Harjot Pannu, in East Windsor.

    "I spoke to the cop who went out there, and the cop told me the teacher didn't take it seriously," Pannu said. "She thought it was a prank. To me it is not a prank. It is life-threatening."
     
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  3. Anonymous_Kaur

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    wahegooooorrrroooooo !!!!!!!!
     
  4. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Jios

    +An 18-year-old Hightstown senior, Garrett Green, was arrested hours later and charged with arson and criminal mischief, said Ben Miller, an investigator with the Hightstown Police Department.

    Victim's uncle Harjot Pannu said the incident had left them scarred psychologically. "It can be mentally damaging. He's shocked about what happened," he said.


    When Newsmaker reported this a week ago my comment was: This is not good enough a response by the police or by the school. The turban in question was on the young man's head when it was set afire. Criminal mischief? What about reckless endangerment, which is a more serious offense in the US?

    Every public official, including the teacher, in this story had a strangely minimalist reaction to what occurred -- perhaps they are dissociating from the reality of the degree of hatred and enmity expressed in the act itself. They must be blind to the hatred Garrett Green must feel.
    So better to lighten one's reaction than to take a long hard look at the truth, or try to rescue this kid from his hatred before it becomes an ingrained habit of mind. Or perhaps hatred has already become an ingrained habit of mind for some members of the surrounding community.

    Both teenagers are at risk. One, the young Sikh, because his identity has been severely assaulted along with his physical safety. Wow! The other, Garrett Green, who by striking out as he did is expressing a serious disconnect -- he is so angry that he cannot feel the suffering of others and cannot stop himself. But Garret Green is not the only person out of control in this story.

    Setting fires of any kind in childhood and adolescence is understood by most members of the psychiatric community to be a significant symptom of deep seated sickness, that reaches back into an emotionally and physically abusive childhood. What went on then? Worse -- arson among children is nearly always a signal that a pattern of socio-pathic crime will follow in adulthood. The police, schools, and teachers are supposed to know this. The data has been around for more than 20 years about what happens after childhood arson.
    http://www.focusas.com/Firesetting.html

    The perpetrator needs to be confronted with a sterner response, accompanied by a heavy dose of psychotherapy to get to the root of his anger and hatred. The teacher, the police department -- Wow again!. Their response was incredibly superficial. The adults in this story have done something much more troubling. They have made light of a young man's hatred. And they have made light of the psychological injury done to the young Sikh who is the victim.

    Reading updates on the story -- I am aghast! Reading this -- all I can do is wonder how real amends can be made so that both of these young men (boys really) will recover. The victim, the Sikh teenager, he has a better future because he has a God who is without hatred and without enmity. The other one, we can only pray for him. I have a hunch that perhaps it will be only the Sikhs in this story who will pray for him.

    P/S reading the Newsmaker article today, it appears that the charges have been increased to a hate-crime and aggravated assault. Maybe this kid will get treatment in prison. See this link

    US teen charged for setting fire on Sikh boy's turban - ExpressIndia.Com

    Garrett Green, 18, pleaded not guilty to changes of aggravated assault, bias intimidation, arson and criminal mischief slapped on him.
     
  5. pk70

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    P/S reading the Newsmaker article today, it appears that the charges have been increased to a hate-crime and aggravated assault. Maybe this kid will get treatment in prison. See this link

    aad0002 ji,
    That is the only way out to give a signal to others that it is not funny, in jail, counseling or a kind of treatment must be provided. If punishment is reduced on the base of forgiveness in future, a lesson must be taught about tolerance towards all regardless of the faith or appearance etc. Our prayers to the victim !
     
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    pk70,

    What happened has to be seen for what it is --- hatred. How did Garret Green get this way? Hatred may have been his real teacher. And when he was playing with hatred as a small child, not enough was done. And now that hatred plays with him and he has set someone's head on fire, adult reaction was still weak -- Until the judge got involved.
     

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