In Renton, Washington: Support for the Sikh Community

December 12, 2001

Source: The Renton Reporter

On December 12, 2001, The Renton Reporter featured an article about support for the local Sikh community. "When terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, members of Renton's Sikh community learned just how full of both love and hate the world is." In the midst of backlash across the country, "members of the Renton gurdwara found that in the Puget Sound region, there is much more love than hate." Jarnail Singh Pannu, treasurer of Renton's Gurudwara Singh Saba, said "while many European-Americans often confuse him and other Sikhs for Muslims, since Sept. 11 many people have expressed an interest in learning more about Sikhism. He says that despite the recent violent incidents against Sikhs, 'the racism problems existed even before. Those people are crazy people, and racists are just looking for an excuse to hurt other people ... over 90 percent of the treatment we get is positive.'" After a Sept. 11 memorial service, Pannu recalls, "'traffic was extremely heavy on I-5. The cars were moving at a crawl. Suddenly, a white guy, a young man, veered his car over and motioned for me to roll down the window. When I did, he reached out and shook my hand - right there on the freeway.'"