Sikhs in America face a common misperception that often surfaces at the airport, among other places: people think they’re Muslim. This is often due to the turban that Sikh men wear as a symbol of commitment.
So Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show tried to help Sikhs out, with a dose of education mixed with humor. Together with Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh-American actor, Minhaj brainstormed ways to counter the doubly misguided Islamophobia directed against Sikhs.
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.”
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 ...