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Faith Groups Denounce Rise in Islamophobia a Decade After 9/11
The Root Cause of Prejudice Against Sikhs

By Anju Kaur, SikhNN staff writer, Washington Bureau
Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2011 | 12:11 am

In the aftermath of 9/11, Americans wanted to know more about Islam and the Arabs, he added. “They had questions they wanted answered but it was who the media turned to provide that information that so was disturbing. And the result is that misinformation became people’s knowledge, and people’s ideas about Islam were fed in the years that followed 9/11, creating the situation that we have today.”

There were other factors. Americans were reacting from a void of information, information that the educational system does not provide, Zogby said. And, like the gay marriage issue in previous elections, the recent enactment by some states of laws forbidding Sharia law is political maneuvering to create a new wedge issue in the next election cycle. The first amendment already provides for the separation of church and state.

“It is a political problem, it is, yes, a media problem, it is a problem of our educational institutions, but it’s become a problem for not just Muslims, it has become a problem for America as a whole,” he said. “It threatens the very fabric of who we are as a people.”

The root cause of prejudice against Sikhs since 9/11 is not mistaken identity, Tarunjit Singh added after the news conference. It is suspicion and prejudice against Muslims themselves.

“Much of the efforts of the Sikh community since 9/11 have focused on correcting the "mistaken identity" issue through education and outreach,” he said. “We can educate all we want that Sikhs are not Muslims but this will not be as effective since we have not addressed the root cause.

“We should take inspiration from our ninth Guru sahib and stand up for our Muslim brothers and sisters at this hour of need. We can't remain silent anymore about anti-Muslim attitudes in our nation.”

Member Organizations
1. American Baptist Churches USA
2. Arab American Institute
3. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
4. Church of the Brethren
5. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
6. Episcopal Church
7. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
8. Faith in Public Life
9. Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
10. General Board of Church and Society
11. Interfaith Alliance
12. Islamic Society of North America
13. Jewish Council for Public Affairs
14. Jewish Theological Seminary of America
15. National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA
16. National Religious Campaign Against Torture
17. New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
18. Presbyterian Church (USA)
19. Rabbis for Human Rights - North America
20. Reconstructionist Rabbinical College/ Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
21. Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
22. Sojourners
23. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
24. United Church of Christ
25. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
26. Universal Muslim Association of America

_________________________

Video courtesy Reverend Steven D. Martin, executive director of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.






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