Thousands of Sikhs Celebrate Holy Day in Los Angeles

April 12, 2004

Source: Los Angeles Times,1,4890092.story?coll=la-news-religion

On April 12, 2004 the Los Angeles Times reported, "Thousands of Sikhs celebrated one of their holiest days with a parade through downtown Los Angeles on Sunday and a call for greater understanding of the fact that wearing a turban is not un-American, nor is it the mark of a terrorist. The Sikhs said their religion was often mistaken for the Islamic faith, and therefore they have been targeted for retaliation since the Sept. 11 attacks. "What you look like does not define ... that you are a terrorist," said Sheriff Lee Baca at the celebration of Baisakhi held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The New Year's festival attracted 12,000 to 15,000 Sikhs, who came to pray, eat and commune. Baca noted that Sikhs started wearing turbans more than 300 years ago, in part to end discrimination; in the Indian caste system, only nobility wore turbans."