Sikhs Rally Against Hate In Richmond Hill

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

In response to a hate crime late last month, members of the Sikh community and several elected officials gathered to say the hate must stop.

On Sept. 21, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a Sikh-American professor at Columbia University, was attacked while walking in Harlem on Sept. 21. The attackers reportedly yelled slurs, including “Osama” and “Terrorist” while they assaulted Singh. The professor was punched in the face multiple times and sustained a broken jaw as a result of the incident.

The Sikh community in Richmond Hill condemned the attack at the Sikh Cultural Society last Sunday.

“We are all troubled by the rising number of hate crimes in a City that we all refer to as home. Today marks an opportunity for us to pool our resources, minds and resolve to ensure that we have a safe and nourishing environment for all New Yorkers. A safer New York for all people is a stronger New York City,” said Sona Simran Kaur Rai, a spokesperson for Prabhjot Singh and a member on the Board of Directors of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund in a statement.

According to a report released by the SALDEF, a civil rights and education group, there have been more than 300 crimes against Sikh-Americans since 9/11 and the victims are often subjected to intimidation or vandalism of their personal property.

Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), whose district includes part of Richmond Hill, also attended the rally and spoke out against the attack.

“In a nation that thrives because of its long standing commitment to diversity, religious tolerance and freedom, it is unacceptable that Sikh Americans have been the repeated targets of hate crimes. Mass violence and hate crimes against any group of people are intolerable and preventable,” he said in a statement.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.