Racial Profiling Of Our Universal Religion | SIKH PHILOSOPHY NETWORK
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Racial Profiling Of Our Universal Religion


Jul 23, 2004

Dr Sukhraj S Dhillon, PhD
Cary, NC, USA

In spite of our claim of sikhism as a peace loving universal religion, we have faced problems varying from simple harassment to as serious as murders of fellow sikhs, especially since September 11.

"There was petition relating UK production 'The Jury.' It has been or being telecast in UK, USA, Australia and some other countries. In the movie, a 15-year-old Sikh boy is made out to have murdered a schoolmate using a sword (kirpan). The petitioners object to the screening that the Sikhs are alluded to as being fanatics and extremists, “Sikhism is a violent religion” and its followers love fighting. The opinion on damage to the community varies among various sikh discussion groups."

We have little different but equally concerned problems with scenes in "Dysfunktional Family,” where jokingly a sikh is called Osama. We have continuous efforts after 911 to tell the Americans that Sikhs are different from Muslims, even though the muslim hijacker in 911 wore no turbans and looked nothing like sikhs with turbans. In these later cases concerning confusing us with Muslims, we assume that once people know that we are Sikhs, they are likely to consider us community of a peace-loving religion. However, 'The Jury' telecast is presenting us as Sikhs, and we still have the similar problem.

There is also a problem with school video showing sikhs as terrorists.

More recently another bombshell: Bharati Mukherjee's Comments about Sikhs and Terrorism, in her PBS interview "NOW with Bill Moyers." She links Sikhs to Al Qaeda terrorist cells. Mukherjee (A UC Berkley Professor and prominent Indian American novelist) stated that individuals responsible for the June, 1985 Air India bombing were "people of Sikh religion, who used militant tactics, terrorist tactics, in order to establish in Punjab, the state of Punjab in India, religious theocratic state for the pure Sikhs, the re-baptized Sikhs." Furthermore, she states, "Khalistanis.were able to, in temples, Gurdwaras, or later on with 9/11, I realized, in mosques, do fundraising at an enormous scale. Terrifying scale."

In all these case, what we are not realizing is that our image as militant nihangs is being exploited. There is such reference in 'The Jury,' and a clear statement of militant image by Bharati Mukherjee. Therefore, what we really need, in this time and age, is to promote and practice Universal Philosophy of Sikhism in Gurbani. (Dhillon, S.S. "Universality of the Sikh Philosophy: An Analysis" The Sikh Review, Volume 52:5, Number 605, pages 15-20, May 2004).

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