August 10, 2012 | By Hainder Singh
Washington, USA (August 10, 2012): Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), on August 07, 2012 condemned the burning of the American flag by individuals in New Delhi protesting the shooting in Wisconsin which led to death of six Sikhs.
Dr. Singh said, “The Sikhs have received a significant outpouring of support from all levels of government, the mainstream media, and the broader American public. We are thankful for this support during this difficult time. These protesters in India are operating under assumptions that are simply not true. We have been embraced across the nation.”
“President Obama ordered that American flags be flown at half staff in honor of the victims of the shooting, a gesture that reflects the extent to which Sikhs have been supported,” noted Dawinder S. Sidhu, a law professor and SCORE volunteer.
American support for Sikhs indeed has been global, observed Dr. Singh. “We are grateful that U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell paid her respects at a Sikh gurdwara in New Delhi and that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reached out to her Indian counterpart as well.”
Dr. Singh warned the media, stating that, “the protesters in India do not speak for Sikh-Americans and thus should not be portrayed as having anything to do with the shootings and its aftermath. I urge the media to not give these protesters the attention they are seeking or give credibility to their unfounded and wrong views.”
He appealed, “the Sikh community’s response in the United States has been one of optimism and inclusion. For example, we ask all Americans to join us in candlelight vigils honoring the victims and in our services this Sunday at local gurdwaras. Our attempt to engage one another peacefully should be contrasted with the uninformed theatrics of those in India.” Dr. Singh added that the protests are “harming Sikh-American attempts to heal and bring people together at a difficult time.”
As the U.S. Attorney, James Santelle, mentioned just yesterday, the true Sikh ethos is one of positivity and optimism. Sikh-Americans believe this strongly, and any violent protests are contrary to that fundamental spirit.