Delaware declares April as ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’

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NEW YORK: April will be ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’ in Delaware, after its state assembly passed a unanimous resolution to that effect, in a move to counter hate crime incidents against the Indian community in the United States.

Gov. John Carney welcomed the move and assured help to the Indian American community, reported PTI.

“We have fear mongering going on at the national level, and stereotyping…and all of that. It is an embarrassment to America as a country,” Carney told a delegation of Indian Americans led by local businessman and community leader Charanjeet Singh Minhas. Such kinds of attack or vandalism is “completely unacceptable,” the Delaware governor said.

Introduced in the state Senate by Senator Brown Townsend, the resolution said Delaware stands with the Sikh community in denouncing hate crimes directed towards any individual on account of their religious beliefs.

“Since September 11, 2001, the Sikhs are often mistaken for Taliban or followers of Al Qaida, owing to the commonality of their beards and turbans, and subjected to a disproportionately high rate of hate crimes, and Sikh boys suffer bullying at least twice the national bullying rate for other boys,” it said.

In the House, the resolution was moved by Assemblyman Paul Baumbach. It noted that the Sikh community continues to peacefully overcome attacks on its identity and practices, whether in the form of school harassment, employment discrimination, or fatal shootings, including the murders of six Sikhs during the Oak Creek, Wisconsin, gurudwara shooting on Aug. 5, 2012, and the shooting of a Sikh man that occurred in Kent, Washington, on March 3, 2017.

In addition, over 30 other hate crimes have occurred nationwide since the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack in New York.

“The faithful service of the Sikh-American community to Delaware and the United States merits appreciation as an integral thread in the fabric of American plurality,” the resolution said as it proclaimed April, 2017 ‘Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month’.”

Simultaneously, Matt Meyer chief executive New Castle County also issued the proclamation.

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