Archive for Sikh

Pakistan Deputy Attorney-general to Clean Shoes at Amritsar Golden Temple

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by loonwatch

Muhammad_Khurshid_Khan_Shoes

Deputy Secretary General Khurshid Khan in a Sikh Temple

Muhammad Khurshid Khan was so upset at the killing of a Sikh man in Pakistan by a Taliban group that he decided to embark on a pilgrimage of service to Sikh and other religious places of worship as a form of penance for their actions.

Quite a remarkable story:

Pakistan deputy attorney-general to clean shoes at Amritsar Golden Temple

After spending several hours polishing the shoes of worshippers at Gurdwara Sisganj in New Delhi on Monday, where he was part of a Pakistan Supreme Court Bar Association delegation, Muhammad Khurshid Khan left for Amritsar, home of the Golden Temple and the centre of the Sikh religion, to clean thousands more.

He began his service pilgrimage after Jaspal Singh, one of three Sikh men kidnapped by Taliban militants in Peshawar in 2010, was murdered. The other two men were rescued by the Pakistani Army. Since then he has visited Sikh temples or Gurdwaras in Pakistan and India to declare his opposition to terrorism through ‘sevadari’ – service – to other religions.

Mr Khan said he was so upset by the killing and his fear that it associated his own Muslim faith with terrorism that he went to sit on the steps of Peshawar’s Gurdwara Bhai Joga Singh. He felt a sense of peace, he told The Times of India, and resolved to visit other places of worship, including Hindu temples and Christian churches to offer his help.

“I am a Muslim, not a terrorist; I am a Khan, not a terrorist; I am from Pakistan, but not a terrorist,” he explained.

The Taliban had damaged Pakistan’s ‘pluralistic’ heritage – there are still Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities throughout the country – but it was unfair “to tarnish a whole community for the sins of a few,” he said.

He visited his local Gurdwara every day for two months, where he read the works of the Sikh gurus, including Guru Nanak, and polished shoes. In both India and Pakistan, shoes are regarded as dirty, and touching the feet of another is an act of self-abasement and respect.

He was on Monday night travelling from New Delhi to Amritsar after India’s Sikh prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, indicated he had no objection to him continuing his pilgrimage at the Golden Temple.

Paramjeet Singh Sarna, president of Delhi’s Sikh Gurdawara Management Committee, said Mr Khan’s actions had moved Indian Sikhs.

“There is always this underlying impression that every Pakistani is a radical but people like Khurshid have changed this image. His act has a message for the entire humanity. Although he as an individual didn’t hurt or kill anybody he has shown remorse for the innocent victims of the Taliban in Pakistan, including a Sikh, by performing community service. We are thankful to him for everything he has done for the minorities in Pakistan,” he said.

Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2012 by loonwatch
Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple Images of the vandalism at the Sterling Heights Sikh temple

Sikh Temple Vandalized–but were Muslims the Intended Target?

By 

Vandals targeted a Sikh house of worship in suburban Detroit this week. But there are signs they intended to target Muslims.

According to the Sikh Society of Michigan, the Sikh temple (known as a Gurdwara) in Sterling Heights has been under construction for several years, without any incidents or controversy.

That changed when someone vandalized the building sometime on Sunday night.

The vandals spray painted “don’t builed” [sic] on an outside wall. They also left images of a cross, a gun, and a misspelled version of the name “Mohammed.”

Muslims revere Mohammed as a prophet, but it has nothing to do with the Sikh religion. The word leads many to believe to believe the vandals thought they were targeting Muslims.

Dawud Walid, executive director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), calls the vandalism a hate crime.

“We joined the Sikh community in calling for local and federal law enforcement to use their full resources to investigate this recent hate crime,” Walid said.

The US Justice Department in Detroit says the incident is on their radar. They’ve met with members of the Sikh community about it.

But a DOJ spokeswoman says it’s yet how they’ll be involved in the investigation, or any potential prosecution. Anyone with information about the incident should contact Sterling Heights Police.

Walid also suggests the incident could stem from politicians’ “fanning the flames” of xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in an election year.

“We hope that they will be a little more responsible,” Walid said. “They should understand that their statements and ads may push people over the edge, and they do have consequences.”

The US Sikh community has fallen victim to anti-Muslim sentiment before. A Sikh man was murdered in Arizona soon after the September 11th attacks. The killer thought he was Arab or Muslim.

When Being Mistaken for Muslim Can Get You Stabbed

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2011 by loonwatch

(updated – below)

The Hindustan Times reports that a Sikh individual was stabbed in an unprovoked attack at Fresno Yosemite International Airport in California.  A hate crime is suspected.  It is very common for anti-Muslim bigots to confuse Sikhs, who wear conspicuous turbans, for Muslims–a confusion that is symbolically representative of the profound ignorance that underlies Islamophobia.

Sikh man stabbed at US airport, hate crime suspected
Associated Press
Fresno, California, December 07, 2011

A Sikh man waiting for a plane at Fresno Yosemite International Airport has been stabbed in a seemingly unprovoked attack, police said. The victim was treated at the airport and boarded his flight bound for India. Fresno police said Mitchell Dufur, 26, stabbed the Sikh man in his 50s in the upper torso Sunday evening in the security area. No words were exchanged before the attack. The man was standing with his translator when the attack occurred.

Dufur was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a knife in an airport.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday urged the FBI and police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime.

“Sikh men who wear beards and turbans as part of their faith are often targeted by bigots who mistake them for Muslims,” said Sacramento CAIR executive director Basim Elkarra.

Gina Swankie in the Sacramento FBI office said her office was having “a dialogue with the group,” but would not confirm whether they had opened an investigation.

Police Lt Don Gross said investigators have not determined whether it was a hate crime because Dufur has refused to talk to police about his motive.

Two elderly men were earlier gunned down in Sacramento on March 4 while walking through a neighbourhood in Elk Grove.

Update I:

Ahmed Rehab tweeted about a second stabbing, another possible hate crime.  Rehab tweeted:

An Indian American Law professor at #UIUC (unconfirmed) stabbed at train station by a man yelling “This is MY country”

The story is still unfolding, but is being reported here:

University faculty member stabbed in alleged hate crime

A faculty member from the College of Law was stabbed Wednesday on the second floor of the Illinois Terminal Building at 5:44 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the report, officers found Joshua Scaggs, 23, and the 41-year-old victim, a professor at the University.

The suspect was lying on the floor face-down near a utility knife, and the victim was sitting in a chair bleeding profusely.

“One of our faculty members was involved in that incident,” said John Colombo, assistant dean at the College of Law. “I can’t confirm (the name) to anyone outside of the College of Law community.”

Police took Scaggs into custody. A witness said Scaggs and the victim were seated in the waiting area when Scaggs suddenly jumped up and shouted that this was his country. He then attacked the victim, who is a non-white male.

Scaggs grabbed the victim around the neck and appeared to be choking him. He then forced the victim to the floor. The witness then pulled the suspect off of the male.

Scaggs was issued a $500,000 bond Thursday, according to the Champaign County Clerk’s office.

The 41-year-old victim, of Champaign, was transported to the Carle Hospital emergency room. Scaggs was later arrested on charges of attempted murder and a hate crime and transported to the Champaign County Satellite Jail.

Can you imagine if two Christian or Jewish-Americans were stabbed by Muslims in separate incidents?  What do you think the reaction of the media would have been?

Sacramento Man Sentenced for Beating Sikh Cab Driver

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by loonwatch

Herbehjan Singh, a Sikh cab driver was beaten severely by a man who thought he was Muslim.

Sacramento man sentenced for beating Sikh cab driver

(News10)

SACRAMENTO, CA – A Sacramento man was sentenced to 13 years in prison for beating up a cab driver because he thought that he was Muslim.

Pedro Ramirez made a plea bargain with the prosecutor’s office to get 13 years instead of life in prison, which was possible if he was convicted at trial.

Ramirez, his wife and another couple got a ride home from a Sacramento club last November– and got into a dispute over payment with the cab driver.

The prosecution said Herbehjan Singh was savagely beaten because he wore a turban, which led the attackers to believe he was Muslim.

Ramirez’ wife doesn’t defend her husband’s actions, but said he was not motivated by the victim’s ethnicity or religion. Laura Sanchez said that’s a lot of time for, what she believes, was a simple fistfight.

“My husband, when we went out that night, we wish we could take it all back,” Sanchez said. “We went out for my birthday and we weren’t seeking out any kind of violence or any kind of fight and it wasn’t a hate crime and I just can’t believe it has turned into this.”

The prosecutor said there’s no way in the world to characterize the attack as a “fistfight.” The cab driver was struck at least 10 times, the prosecutor said, the whole time insisting he’s not Muslim.

Singh’s friend Amanpreet Kaur said Singh is driving again.

“He’s still having some memory problems and headaches, but he’s doing a lot better,” Kaur said. “He’s getting back to work.”

The other man who joined Ramirez in assaulting the cab driver was sentenced to a year in county jail because he was considered less culpable in the attack.

News10/KXTV

Pravin Singh Beheads his Girlfriend, What if he were Muslim?

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by loonwatch

Remember the Muslim man who behead his wife? It was all over the news and Islamophobes made big hay out of it. Turning a tragic case of domestic violence into a Crusade against Islam. Bill Maher also attributed the act to Islam.

Now we have a case of a man named Pravin Singh, likely Sikh or Hindu who beheaded his girlfriend in front of her classmates. Will we blame Sikhism or Hinduism now? No, that would be wrongheaded and illogical but just imagine if he were Muslim!

hat tip: Daniel

Bijendra Kumar, India Beheading Suspect, Accused Of Cutting Girlfriend’s Head Off With Knife

(Huffington Post)

PATNA, India — Police say that a man armed with a large knife beheaded an 18-year-old woman at her school in front of her horrified classmates in eastern India.

The attacker later told police he was in love with the victim but her parents wouldn’t allow them to marry.

Police official Pravin Kumar Singh said Thursday that officers arrested Bijendra Kumar on suspicion of killing Khushbu, who uses only one name. He allegedly attacked her a ceremonial curved weapon called a khukri as she was leaving her classroom Wednesday in the eastern city of Ranchi.

Authorities say the blade sliced her head off and she died instantly. Kumar was quickly mobbed by the other students and handed over to the police. Singh says Kumar told the police that he had also intended to kill himself.

Sacramento: Sikh Cabbie Severely Beaten Screamed “I am not Muslim”

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2010 by loonwatch

Robert Spencer likes to say, “Islamophobia? What Islamophobia?”

Here you go Bob,

Robbery or Hate Crime? Sacramento Cabbie Severely Beaten

(Fox40)

Ben Deci

Sacramento cab driver Harbhajan Singh is recovering from severe injuries he received at the hands of two men he drove into West Sacramento early this morning.

56-year-old Singh believes the men intended to kill him, but he was able to get away.

In a press release, West Sacramento Police say “two of the subjects began assaulting the victim and demanded money.” But Singh says that his money wasn’t what provoked the attack. He says it was his turban.

“After he gets the money,” Singh said of one of his attackers, “he’s still fighting. He says ‘I’ll kill you.’ I say, ‘I’m not Muslim. Please.’”

Singh has several stitches on his head and other parts of his body, bone chips in his nose, and bruising along his rib cage.

He says he picked-up the near fatal fare at Harlow’s in Midtown Sacramento Sunday morning. He says there were two men and two women. They first told him they were headed toward Broadway in Sacramento, but later had him drive into a dark West Sacramento neighborhood.

That’s when, according to  Singh, the two men exploded into violence. One shouted expletives and called him Osama Bin Laden.

Singh wears a turban because he is Sikh.

“It’s part of the religion,” said Resham Singh, a coworker of Harbhajan’s. “So we don’t know how to show the community we are different people. We are nice people. We are not joined with bad people.”

During the violent beating, one of the female passengers put her body between Singh and his attackers.

“She was very nice. She said ‘why you fight him? You’ll go to jail.’ But he did not listen,” Harbhajan Singh said.

Still, Singh was able to use the distraction to get away.

“God help me, I put the car into drive from park… and raced away,” Singh said.

He wound-up in a West Sacramento apartment complex where, still bleeding and with one eye swollen shut, he banged on doors until he found someone to call 9-1-1.

Singh was taken to the hospital. His attackers, and the woman who defended him, disappeared.

http://ktxl.vid.trb.com/player/PaperVideoTest.swf

 

Seattle man Attacks Shopkeeper Thinking he is Muslim

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by loonwatch

Another anti-Muslim hate crime even though the target ended up not being a Muslim.

Way to go Fox News, Republicans, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller.

Charge: Seattle man attacked shopkeeper, calls victim a terrorist

By LEVI PULKKINEN
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

A 35-year-old Seattle man is facing assault and hate crime charges following allegations that he accosted a clerk at a Queen Anne convenience store.

According to police, Brock Stainbrook derided the man as being a terrorist during the Tuesday morning incident.

Writing the court, a Seattle detective said Stainbrook entered the 7-11 store in at 362 Denny Way. The clerk was standing near a coffee machine when Stainbrook accosted him.

“For unknown reasons a person threw change on the floor near the victim’s feet then punched the victim on the left side of the head,” the detective said.

“After the suspect struck (the clerk) with his fist he said, ‘You’re not even American, you’re Al-Qaeda. Go back to your country.’”

Another employee then stepped in, forcing Stainbrook to leave the store. As he did so, police allege the man tried to kick the second employee and damaged a barcode scanner.

Police arrested Stainbrook walking nearby minutes later. Confronted by police, he allegedly admitted that he “struck a person on his turban” because he disliked him. While the alleged victim’s ethnic background is not noted in court documents, his surname is common within the Sikh community.

Stainbrook has been charged with fourth-degree assault and malicious harassment, Washington state’s hate crime statute.

Levi Pulkkinen can be reached at 206-448-8348 or levipulkkinen@seattlepi.com. Follow Levi on Twitter at twitter.com/levipulk.