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Sikhs Stand up to Bullying as They Try to Build Understanding

Prabhdeep Suri speaks about his experiences with bullying at the Guru Nanak Foundation of America. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks.

Throughout elementary, middle, and high school, Prabhdeep Suri has been the only Sikh in his class, and it’s been obvious.

Like all Sikh boys, he wore a patka, a head covering for his uncut hair that’s worn out of respect for his gurus. To his classmates, the patka was a license to stare, taunt, isolate, punch, and kick him. It was a target to knock off his head. It was the reason they called him “Osama bin Laden” and “terrorist.”

“He came home crying three days out of five,” his mother, Harpreet Suri remembered. “They were taking his patka off almost every day.”

Sikh Leader Responds to Wisconsin Shootings

Ralph Singh, director of publications and public relations for Gobind Sadan — "God's House Without Walls," a spiritual community rooted in the Sikh tradition with locations in India and the United States — responds to the mass shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh gurudwara that has devastated the faith community.

Sikhism was founded more than 500 years ago in India. Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair, and male followers of the religion wear turbans, which they consider sacred.

"A Sikh, wherever they go in the world, is committed to building community a community of peace, an inclusive community to stand as an affirmation of what we now call pluralism," Singh says.

Listen to what Singh as to say on a video inside the blog ...

 

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