American Sikhs: A long-misunderstood religious group mourns death in a shooting in Indianapolis
Members of the Sikh community in Indianapolis meet after a mass shooting in Indianapolis, Indiana, which killed eight people, including four Sikhs. Jon Cherry / Getty Images On April 16, 2021, a gunman fired at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, killing eight people and injuring several before killing him. Four members of the Sikh community were among those shot down. The site was reported to have a significant number of Sikh employees, and the slaughter upset and mourned the community. Maninder Sinwaria, a member of the Sikh community in Indianapolis, said: “This kind of violent attack is a threat to all of us. Our community has a long way to heal physically, mentally and mentally to recover from this tragedy.” The motive is still unknown. In a post-incident statement, the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group, called on authorities to carry out a complete investigation “including possible prejudice as a factor.” Sikhs have been the target of racist attacks in the past. As a traditional scholar, and as I practice Sikhs myself, I have studied the prejudices and barriers faced by many Sikhs in the United States. I have also experienced racial slurs since I was young. The bottom line is that in the United States there is little understanding of who the Sikhs are and what they believe. So here is the introductory book. Founder of Sikhism First, the founder of the Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in the Punjab region of South Asia, which is now divided into Pakistan and northwestern India. The majority of the world’s Sikh population still lives in Punjab on the Indian side of the border. From an early age, Guru Nanak was disillusioned with the social inequality and religious hypocrisy he observed around him. He believed that the power of a single God created and existed in the whole world. In his belief, God was not far from the world, watching from a distance, but fully present in every aspect of creation. He therefore argued that all people were equally divine and deserved of being treated as such. To promote this vision of divine unity and social equality, Guru Nanak created institutional and religious practices. He established a community center and a place of worship, wrote his own scriptures, and institutionalized a system of leadership (guru) to carry on his vision. Therefore, the Sikh view rejects all social distinctions that create inequality, such as gender, race, religion, and caste, which are the main structures of South Asian social stratification. A community kitchen run by Sikhs to provide free meals regardless of caste, religion or religion at the Golden Temple in Punjab, India. shankar s. Serving the CC BY world is a natural expression of Sikh prayer and worship. Sikhs call this prayer service “Seva,” which is a core part of their practice. Sikh Identity In the Sikh tradition, a truly religious person is one who develops a spiritual self while serving the surrounding community, the saint soldiers. The ideals of the Holy Soldier apply to both women and men alike. In this spirit, Sikh women and men maintain articles of five beliefs, commonly known as the Five Ks. These are Kess (long, uncut hair), Kara (steel bracelet), Kanga (wooden comb), Kirpan (small sword), Kacchera (Soldier shorts). There is little historical evidence to explain why these particular articles were chosen, but the Five Ks continue to provide the community with a collective identity, connecting individuals based on common beliefs and practices. As I understand, Sikhs cherish these articles of faith as gifts from their gurus. Turbans are an important part of the Sikh identity. Both women and men can wear turbans. Like the article of faith, Sikhs consider their turban as a gift given by their beloved gurus, and their meaning is very personal. In South Asian culture, wearing a turban usually showed one’s social status. Kings and rulers once wore turbans. The Sikh gurus partially adopted turbans to remind the Sikhs that all human beings are sovereign, royal, and ultimately equal. [3 media outlets, 1 religion newsletter. Get stories from The Conversation, AP and RNS.] American Sikhs Today, there are about 30 million Sikhs around the world, making Sikhs the fifth largest major religion in the world. Seekday parade on Madison Avenue in New York. AP Photo / Craig Ruttle After British colonists in India seized power of Punjab in 1849, where the majority of the Sikh community was based, Sikhs included Southeast Asia, East Africa, and the United Kingdom itself. They began to migrate to various areas controlled by the British Empire. .. Based on what they have available, Sikhs have played various roles in these communities, including military service, farming, and railroad construction. The first Sikh community entered the United States via the West Coast in the 1890s. As soon as they arrived, they began to experience discrimination. For example, the first racial riots targeting Sikhs occurred in Bellingham, Washington in 1907. An angry mob of white men gathered Sikh workers, beat them, and left the town. Discrimination continued for many years. For example, after his father emigrated from Punjab to the United States around the time of the Iran hostage crisis in 1979, racial slurs like “Ayatollah” and “Raghead” were thrown at him. It was a time of heightened tensions between the two countries as 52 American diplomats and citizens were captured in Iran. These slurs reflected a racist backlash against people who matched the Iranian stereotypes. When the United States was involved in the Gulf War in the early 1990s, our family faced a similar racist backlash. Racist attacks have surged again since 9/11, especially as Americans are unaware of Sikh religion and confuse the popular stereotypes of what terrorists look like with the unique look of Sikhism. After the election of President Donald Trump, the rate of violence against Sikhs surged. In 2018, the Sikh Coalition estimated that American Sikhs were targeted for hate crimes about once a week. A parade of Sikh American journeys in Pasadena, California APPhoto / Michael Owen Baker Scholars and government officials estimate that the Sikh American population is about 500,000. As a Sikh practice, I can assure you that the Sikh commitment to their beliefs, including love, service and justice, will keep them resilient in the face of violence. For these reasons, I proudly and apologize that many Sikh Americans, including those affected by the shootings in Indiana, continue to maintain their unique Sikh identity. believe. This is an updated version of the article first published on August 9, 2018. UnionTheologicalSeminary is a member of the Association of Theological Schools. ATS is a funding partner of The Conversation US. This article has been republished by The Conversation, a non-profit news site aimed at sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by Simran Jeet Singh of Union Theological Seminary. Read more: The French line over mosques is more than just state financing-it goes deep into Islamophobia and French secularism. Compassionate courage is systematic beyond “cultural cancellation.” Challenge Racism-But It’s a Hard Job How “Complementaryism”-The Belief Role That God Assigned a Specific Gender-Simran Jeet Singh, who became part of the evangelical doctrine, said this We do not work, consult, own shares, or receive funding for companies or organizations that benefit from the article.