California Sikhs Determined to Continue Efforts of Community Involvement a Year After 9/11

September 11, 2002

Source: The Reporter

On September 11, 2002 The Reporter in Vacaville, California reported that "when local Sikh-Americans found their sacred temple sullied in July with black spray-painted profanity and the message, 'go back where you belong,' they simply removed it and went about the business of living their religion... Tolerance for their fellow men, including the ignorant, is part of being Sikh... said Gurpreet Dhugga, a member of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Fairfield and the Punjabi-American Cultural Association... That philosophy has been a guiding light for Sikh-Americans since Sept. 11, 2001... Like Americans with Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian backgrounds, many Sikhs across the nation have been subjected to hate crimes because their dark complexions and the turbans many of them wear are associated with terrorism... In response, Solano County Sikh-Americans, viewing the terrorist attacks as an injustice for all Americans, have been visible and vocal in their outrage and condemnation of terrorists, working to raise funds for victim relief efforts... They've emerged a year later confident that they have provided to the community a clearer picture of who they are, but with a determination to continue that effort."