Jalandhar, September 3, 2023: As per media reports, The North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) on Sunday sent a letter to Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, raised concerns about the growing fear and insecurity faced by the Sikh community in North America in wake of increasing hate crimes.
The organisation said recent events had raised alarming questions about the safety and well-being of Sikh Americans, who have long been an integral part of the fabric of the USA.
In the letter sent to Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, Satnam Singh Chahal, Executive Director of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA), said that in recent years, the Sikh community has faced numerous challenges, including hate crimes, discrimination and bias-motivated incidents. NAPA believes that it is essential to address these issues promptly and comprehensively to ensure the safety and security of Sikh Americans and all minority communities.
Chahal further said that the Sikh community is renowned for its values of peace, inclusivity and service to humanity. Sikhs have made significant contributions to the economic, cultural and social development of North America and they continue to be proud citizens who cherish the ideals of freedom and equality upon which this nation was founded.
However, the recent surge in hate crimes against Sikh individuals and institutions is deeply troubling. Sikhs have been mistaken for individuals of other ethnicity, largely due to their distinct appearance, including turbans and beards, which are religious articles of faith. This misconception has led to tragic consequences, including violence and harassment, he said.
Chahal stated that NAPA firmly believes that diversity is one of the strengths of the United States and every individual should be able to practice their faith and live without fear of persecution or discrimination. “We call upon all Americans to stand in solidarity with the Sikh community and all minority groups, fostering an environment of tolerance, respect and understanding,” he said.
Chahal urged the US Secretary of State to adopt all measures needed for the safety and security of the Sikh community. The letter stated that the North American Punjabi Association remains committed to promoting the welfare and security of the Sikh community and all minority communities across North America.