August 16, 2017 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
New York, USA: The American Sikh Council (ASC) (formerly known as World Sikh Council America Region –WSC-AR) has expressed alarm and shock at the ultra-right wing ‘white supremacists’ who took out a march to perpetuate their insidious hate and bigotry against all minorities, people of color, ethnicities, etc on Saturday August 12, 2017 in downtown Charlottesville, VA. There were counter protest held in order to stand up against the ‘white supremacists’ who claimed membership in the Ku Klux Klan and other fringe groups.
In a press release, the ASC said: “[d]ue to the ensuing confrontation by the ‘white supremacists’ with the counter protestors, one woman was killed and more than 30 people were injured on Saturday August 12, 2017. The 32 year old Heather Heyer a paralegal at a local Charlottesville law firm died after a ‘white supremacist’ (terrorist) James Alex Fields Jr., 20, of Maumee, Ohio rammed his car into a crowd of counter protestors. Heather Heyes died while standing up for the defenseless and trying to hold up those good values that any upstanding citizen should”.
“Additionally, a pilot Lt H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M.M.Bates another member of the Governor’s protection detail were killed in a helicopter crash Saturday as they helped monitor the situation in Charlottesville”.
American Sikh Council President Dr. Gurdas Singh stated, “Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this horrific violence.” Religious minorities like the Sikh Americans have been at the receiving end of hate and bigotry for a very long time. The American Sikh Council stands firmly against all kinds of xenophobic rhetoric and and all attacks must be denounced in the strongest possible terms.
The American Sikh Council (ASC) urged all the Gurdwaras and other Sikh institutions to hold candle light vigils, organize and/or join hands in any local rally being held against hate and bigotry, donate blood, and continue to educate non-Sikh neighbors about the Sikh message of universal brotherhood/sisterhood to spread peace and inclusiveness of our faith founders.
The American Sikh Council also urged all the Gurdwaras to make sure there are security measures in place for the respective Gurdwaras and the sangats. These are trying times and it is up to us to be proactive and be prepared to keep everyone safe.