Usually, I do my best to write and bring you items on cheery topics and the world of entertainment. However, in light of the recent Sikh Temple attack and Mosque burning, I’m compelled to write on this more serious issue.
It is no secret that in the US, the world of all Americans was shaken due to the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. While the attack came from abroad, the impact has been greatly felt by those in the country. To all Americans, the bubble we had been living in – believing we were free from attack and believing all loved our country – was burst. However, for the Indians (I’m using this word collectively to encompass Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, etc.) in the US, the target for hatred and suspicion grew bigger on our backs and the response was mostly negative. Many have come out sharing the stories of how 9/11 adversely impacted them. Not to mention, when a brown-skinned person goes to the airport, you can be sure he/she will be selected in a “random” security check.
Now, I’m all for the security of the United States, so I don’t mind this change at the airport. What I do mind, is the backlash and racism that Indians in the US – the majority of which are not terrorists – have had to face post-9/11. So, although I’m glad that our security has tightened up to prevent further foreign attacks, the question that comes to mind in light of the recent attacks at the Sikh temple and Muslim mosque, is “What are we doing to prevent internal hate attacks??” And, what are we going to do about the fact that these attacks are happening on religious sacred grounds?
The shooting a few days ago at Wisconsin has been deemed an act of hate on the Sikh people who were worshiping at their place of worship, their gurudwara. 6 people lost their lives, but so many more were affected by this tragedy. Soon after this incident, a mosque in Missouri was burned to the ground. These two incidents were not connected, except for the fact that they are linked by the fire of hatred.
So, how can we extinguish this fire? Perhaps I’m an idealist, but I think it is possible to eliminate hate in the world with understanding and acceptance. Maybe the fact that my parents taught me to see the world in colors, and not with a black and white divide, drives my desire to see the world be eradicated of hate and evil. I hope that these two incidents prove to be teaching points for Americans on the need for tolerance. This is a point in American history where we should especially be stressing that religion, ethnicity, race, gender, etc. are not a reason for which a division should be made in society.
The US was supposed to be a melting pot of religions, and not a fire burning with hate. Nobody, regardless of gender, faith, race, skin color, etc., should lose their lives for someone else’s insensitivity and lack of knowledge and compassion. Live and let live.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of both these incidents. I hope and pray that we do not see such hate crimes again any time soon.