- Posted August 12, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Sikh community speaks out
Sikhs will be Sikhs
I am a human. I am a Sikh. I am a recent immigrant. I am a student. I have always preferred people questioning me than make assumptions about me. Every chance I got, I took it to inform others about who I am, our rich history and the culture of sacrificing for others. When I did not get a chance, I created chances. This is a call to my fellow Sikhs, please do not be ashamed of who you are. Why stop being who you are?
Streets, intersections, stores, classroom, work, airport etc., Everywhere I have been greeted by curious eyes, sometimes hostile ones too. These days, however, there is a new sense of pride in the way I greet them. Now, I am proud to tell them that Sikhs will always be Sikhs. They have endured genocides. They have lived and survived through vicious massacres. They were cut apart, they were burnt alive, they were persecuted; but they did not stop being Sikhs. And they must not stop this time either.
They have stood up against oppression and injustice! And they will continue that tradition as well while sharing the love of the Supreme Creator with their fellow brothers and sisters. There is a new zeal and a new inspiration. The support and the solidarity from communities across the nation has reassured us. Not only do we look forward to living in a united society, we are also looking forward to be a part of the history and the armed forces.
There are a lot of Sikhs who have come up with slogans like: “I am a Sikh, I am not a Muslim”. Why explain yourself by starting with who you are not? Why single out Muslims? Is it okay to let them be targets of hate? That is not an action for promotion of universal brotherhood. Our faith teaches that we are the children of the one Supreme Creator. Now is the time that we set aside our differences, even inside Sikh community, and put up a united face in wake of this tragedy.
I know, at least for some time, they will still continue patting us down at the airport, choosing us “randomly” from a pool of people always, bully us at schools and hurl abuses at us on sidewalks, but we should not become like them. We should still be Sikhs. And we will still be Sikhs. Above all, we will still be humans.