NYC Mob Attacks Sikh Prof, Thinking He's Muslim

Attackers shouted 'get Osama' before fracturing man's jaw

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 23, 2013 3:50 AM CDT | Updated Sep 23, 2013 7:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – In what police are investigating as a hate crime, a Columbia University professor was badly beaten on a New York City street Saturday by a mob that apparently believed he was a Muslim. Police say Prabjot Singh, a 31-year-old Sikh, was attacked just blocks from his home by a group of more than 20 young men on bikes who called him a terrorist and shouted "Get Osama!" Singh, who was saved when passersby intervened, was left with injuries including a fractured jaw, reports the Columbia Spectator.

Friend Simran Jeet Singh describes the attack in the Huffington Post, noting that the professor had been taking an evening walk after dropping his wife and 1-year-old at home. "He couldn't speak because many of his teeth had been displaced, but he waved limply to let us know that he was OK," he writes of seeing Singh at the hospital. "It’s incredibly sad," Singh himself tells the New York Daily News. "It’s not the neighborhood I know. I work in this community. It’s just not American." Gawker points out that Singh himself noted in a New York Times article on anti-Sikh violence last year that the turbans and long beards of Sikh men have often marked them out as targets for discrimination both in India and overseas. (It's not the only alleged hate crime NYC has suffered in recent weeks.)

Prabjot Singh is a professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.   (new.sipa.columbia.edu)
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