Sikhs in Stockton Seek Civic Engagement Post-9/11

September 10, 2006


On September 10, 2006 reported, "To some, their long beards and colorful turbans illicit thoughts of Taliban and al-Qaida jihadists bent on destroying the United States. But members of San Joaquin County's thriving Sikh community say they are Indian, with a religion far different from Islam. Five years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, they still suffer insults as a result of other people's ignorance. Amrik Singh Dhaliwal, president of the Stockton Sikh Temple, said he does not go out much. Still, three or four times every week, people hurl insults, calling him Osama bin Laden or worse... In fact, Stockton's Sikh community of about 5,000 has roots dating back 100 years, boasting the oldest Sikh temple in North America... About 20,000 Sikhs live in the county. In the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, backlash peaked, with reports of violence and threats directed at Sikhs across the country."