August 8, 2012 | By Prabh Singh
New York (August 8, 2012): Sikhs For Justice (SFJ), a human rights advocacy group which is spearheading a US wide campaign against religious intolerance that resulted in the killing of six Sikhs during a shootout at Wisconsin Sikh temple took a strong exception to the burning of American flag by members of National Akali Dal in New Delhi.
SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated that it is unfortunate that members of National Akali Dal have burnt the American flag in Delhi as this sends a wrong signal to the US government which is taking every measure to safeguard the interests of the Sikh community after the Sikh massacre. As the attack on Wisconsin Sikh temple suggests, “there are already Anti-Sikh sentiments budding in some quarters of American Society and the action of burning American flag by National Akali Dal will only fuel such more sentiments against the Sikhs, a religious minority” added attorney Pannun.
In an organized move to raise religious awareness amongst the American community, Sikh Rights Group, SFJ has been joined by American Gurudwara Prabhandhik Committee (AGPC), Sikh Youth of America (SYA) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) along with management committees of various Sikh temples across North America.
While praising President Obama for ordering the US flags to be flown at half mast until August 10 to honor the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh temple massacre, attorney Pannun stated that “US administration should take concrete measures for the safety of the religious minorities in the States”. A US Government backed educational TV program should continuously make American community aware of the different religious minorities that have become integral part of the society and should also state the consequences of hate crimes so that it deters future such horrific attacks against religious minorities. SFJ has already announced a $10,000/- gallantry award for the officer Brain Murphy who risked his life to defend Sikhs in a shoot out at Wisconsin Sikh Gurudwara.