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Nancy Pelosi asks American Sikh Congress Caucus to work for protection of Sikh civil rights

May 22, 2014 | By

Washington, DC (May 22, 2014): Supporting issues taken up by the American Sikh Congressional Caucus (ASCC), U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said that the changes taking place in the way the FBI investigates hate crimes against Sikhs may result in saving lives.

Addressing the first annual reception of the ASCC on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Pelosi recalled the Oak Creek Sikh shrine killings of 2012, and said: ” There is no place in our country for such a thing, and it was shocking for us when one element of a white supremacist takes to sacrifice in order to make changes.”

Nancy Pelosi [File Photo]

Nancy Pelosi [File Photo]

It must be noted that the ASCC came in existence a year after the Oak Creek incident.

The annual reception reviewed the year’s achievements and the work undertaken for the protection of Sikh civil rights in the United States. The caucus reiterated its commitment to work for the resolution of various issues and challenges before the community at the highest government level.

The event was attended by top Caucus functionaries, including Co-Chairs Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and Congressman David Valadao (CA-21), apart from a galaxy of the Congressmen and friends of the ASCC.

“The success of the caucus activities can be gauged from the fact that it started with 28 members one year ago, but today has about 50 members,” said U.S.-based Sikh leader Harpreet Singh.

He said Chu and Valadao had developed the caucus into a formidable platform for the community to address issues confronting it.

The caucus, he said, was a major step ahead for the U.S.-based Sikh community to raise it voice of concern at the rightful platform and they had succeeded in listing the hate crimes by the FBI against Sikhs as separate head rather than with other communities.

“The caucus is working day and night to resolve the Sikh identity issues, matters relating to the security of the community members and the Sikh temples in the U.S. and their human rights”, said Harpreet Singh.

He also addressed the meeting of the members which was held at Longworth House Office Building here and stated that they were happy over the overwhelming response of the U.S. Congress members cutting across party lines to the caucus that will re-build the faith through bipartisan dialogues and help the Sikh community to continue contributing to the development and prosperity of the Unites States.

Chu and Valadao, who also addressed the Caucus’s annual meeting, said they had been working in close coordination with Homeland Security Department to address the security matters of the Sikhs who faced the hate crime aftermath of the 9/11 attack in US.

The Sikhs across America faced discrimination, bullying, and even bias-motivated violence from misguided individuals associating Sikhs with the terrorist attacks, forgetting that Sikhs were peace-loving citizens of the U.S. working for the prosperity and development of America.

They said the police department had already agreed to recruit Sikh as officers and an example is one Jaskirat Singh from Milipetus recently inducted into the Police department.

“We want that the Sikhs are accepted in their own attire in the U.S. Army as well,” opined caucus members.

Note: Above write-up was previously published at Business Standard at source . It’s reproduced here for the information of readers of the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN).

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