U.S. Sikhs Ask for Unity, Work for Increased Understanding

September 13, 2001

Source: The Boston Globe

On September 13, 2001, The Boston Globe reported on the arrest, and subsequent release, of a Sikh man yesterday. Religion reporter Michael Paulson wrote, "The man on the Amtrak train from Boston had a green turban on his head, a long beard on his chin, and a blade strapped to his chest, and apparently, that was enough evidence for federal and local authorities." (The blade was a kirpan, a ceremonial sword worn by Sikhs.) The article noted that as the man was arrested, "teenagers shouted, 'Let's kill him,' and a woman yelled, 'Burn in hell.'" This incident of mistaken identity echoed through the local and national Sikh community. ''We're really concerned,' said Inderpreet Singh of Marlborough, the secretary of the Milford Gurdwara, a Sikh congregation of about 250 to 300 people. 'They should focus on culprits, rather than random people who have turbans and wear beards.'"