by Dr. Manohar Singh
Chairperson, World Sikh Council – America Region
The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR), representing 47 member Gurdwaras and Sikh organizations, strongly denounces the violence that erupted at Makhan Shah Lubana Sikh Center in Queens, New York on April 24, 2011.
Regardless of the provocation, such disgraceful behavior violates not only the norms of civil society in general, but is deeply offensive to Sikh sentiment and ideals of thoughtful dialogue.
Such actions by individuals are all the more reprehensible when recognizable Sikhs engage in a brawl in the presence of Siri Guru Granth Sahib and cannot be tolerated under any circumstance. Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/united-states/35421-wsc-ar-statement-shameful-altercation-makhan.html
The vandalism on display insults not only the memory of the well known Sikh historical personality after whom the Sikh Center is named, but also smears the reputation of the entire Sikh community which is unacceptable to Sikhs Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=35421
For Sikhs, this is a matter of grave concern, made especially so because we are a small and an easily identifiable community and often invite mistaken perceptions, and in some instances, unwelcome attention in the form of hate crimes.
This incident only serves to feed the stereotype that we should otherwise be working together to dispel. As Sikhs, we carry a special responsibility for impeccable private and public behavior.
On behalf of the Gurdwaras and Sikh organizations that WSC-AR represents, we strongly appeal to all individuals involved in the incident to reflect on their behavior and resolve the management issues amicably through peaceful and thoughtful dialogue, and to absolutely desist from this kind of behavior in the future. The Sikh community is watching and will not tolerate such actions.
At the same time, the Sikh community and relevant Sikh organizations must come together urgently to establish a Gurmat-based framework for conflict resolution. WSC-AR is open to ideas and input on this important community matter. http://www.worldsikhcouncil.org/pres.../13May2011.pdf