President's Missed Chance With Sikhs

November 3, 2010

Author: Dawinder “Dave” S. Sidhu

Source: The Baltimore Sun,0,4466786.story

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Sikhs in the United States have been murdered, stabbed, harassed, removed from airplanes, fired from jobs, and refused service in public establishments, among other things. This mistreatment is based on their appearance and is because Americans generally are unaware of Sikhs or Sikh identity.


Sikhs are members of a progressive, monotheistic religion founded in 15th century South Asia. Male Sikhs, who are required to cover their heads and refrain from cutting their hair, traditionally wear turbans and have beards. As Osama bin Laden also has a beard and wears a turban, Sikhs have been conflated with him and those responsible for the deadly terrorist attacks.