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Sikh Politician Responds to Bigotry with Love

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By Tanvil Wattal
AsAmNews Intern

 

Acts of bigotry have taken the news by storm with events such as the White nationalist attack in Charlottesville. Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh was the target of such hatred during his campaign to head the New Democratic Party.
 
CNN reports that a women confronted him during the mic check and began shouting “When is your Shariah going to end? … We know you are in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood!” Her rampant clamor, however, did not induce an ounce of hatred, fear or irritation on Singh’s face.
 
“What do we believe in? We believe in love and courage, right”.
 
Keeping a calm demeanor, he rallied the audience to spread this message of love as a response to the blatant racism. He continued to overpower her words of discrimination and explained to the audience that  “we don’t want to be intimidated by hate. We don’t want hate to take over a positive event”.
 
Frustrated, the protester eventually exited the hall.
 
He took to Twitter and made a public statement clarifying the events and answering the question on everybody’s mind – why did you not tell her that you were practicing Sikh, not Muslim. The NDC Candidate stated that “[I] purposely didn’t go down that road because it suggests that hate would be OK if I was Muslim.” He continues by emphasizing that “we can build a world where no one is left behind.”
 

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Post 9/11, the Sikh community has often been targeted after being mistake for Muslim. These two distinct communities, with sizable representation, have been mistaken for years. Why is such ignorance becoming a trend, and how can we combat it?
 
In accordance with Singh’s philosophy, “it takes love to understand that we are all in this together”. Regardless, it is essential to open dialogue about such occurrences, and to foster an environment of unity and acceptance.
 

 

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