Candidate's Comments Regarding Profiling, Turbans Condemned by National Sikh Organization

August 31, 2006

Source: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund Press Release

On August 31, 2006 Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund Press Release reported, "The Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) today condemns comments made by Wisconsin U.S. House of Representative’s Republican Candidate Paul R. Nelson indicating that individuals who wear a turban and individuals named Mohammed are directly related with terrorism.

During an interview with Jeff Petersen of Wisconsin’s WIXK radio, Mr. Nelson suggested that Muslim males ought to be singled out, by airport security. 'Racial profiling is one way that we can cut down on security risks,' said Nelson.

When asked to describe what a Muslim male looks like, Nelson responded 'well, you know, if he comes in wearing a turban and his name is Mohammed, that's a good start.'

In response to this outrageous statement, SALDEF has written a formal letter demanding an apology from Mr. Nelson and his campaign for his irresponsible and racist comments along with his public support of profiling suspects solely based on their physical appearance.

Additionally, SALDEF in conjunction with a diverse group of 30 organizations from across the country issued a joint letter yesterday to Mr. Nelson in opposition to his statements. Additionally, a similar joint opposition letter was sent to Congressman Pete King (R-NY), New York Gubernatorial candidate John Faso and Florida Congressional candidate Mark Flanagan for their flagrant support of racial profiling.

There are over 1.2 billion Muslims across the world who come from all races, ethnicities and national origins. Additionally, the vast majority of individuals wearing turbans in the United States are adherent’s of the Sikh faith. Any attempt to associate Sikh Americans and the entire Muslim community with terrorism shows a blatant use of racist policy and complete disregard for the diversity in American society."