How to Fight Bigotry? Take Lesson From Sikhs

Their inclusiveness should remind US of its ideals: Arjun Sethi
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 9, 2012 1:59 PM CDT
How to Fight Bigotry? Take Lesson From Sikhs
Members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin at a news conference on Monday.   (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

Memo to bigots: Sikhs are not Muslims, even if the turbans confuse you. Whole separate religion going on there. But even as Washington lawyer Arjun Sethi, who grew up as a Sikh in America, points out the distinction, he doesn't want to dwell on it. That's because Muslims, too, have been the targets of hate crimes and bigotry in this country, he writes in the Washington Post.

"Americans face a choice: We can look at these events in isolation, or we can have the courage to call them what they are: a threat to the promise of the United States," writes Sethi. The country's "commitment to equality" is what makes the US "the envy of the world," and ordinary Americans risk that by not fighting bigotry where they can. Sikh temples are open to those of all faiths, he notes. "Will Americans take steps to ensure that this country’s doors remain open, too?" Read his full column here. (More Sikh temple shooting stories.)

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