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Published on Feb 11, 2008
After 9/11, visible ethnic communities like the Sikhs became immediate targets of public racism from racist elements of society. Anyone that was considered to be Arab-like in appearance was targeted with vicious verbal racism, taunts and physical attacks. Many innocent Sikhs were attacked or shot dead on the streets of the USA and Europe simply due to their appearance. Sikhs are instantly recognisable by turbans and beards.
Turbans have been worn by different people around the world for the past 3,000 years. For the Sikhs, the turban carries deep religious significance. Members of the Sikh faith - the fifth largest religion in the world - are required to wear a turban pursuant to religious mandate.
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sikh turbans have taken on a new meaning. Because Non-Sikhs tend to associate Sikhs' turbans with Osama bin Laden, Sikhs with turbans have become a superficial and accessible proxy for the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. As a result, turbaned Sikhs in America have been victims of racial violence. Sikhs are a peace loving community that are well assimilated into western culture. It is sad to see that terrorists can cause Americans to kill other innocent Americans. As a result of the killings of innocent Sikhs this video was produced by the US Department of Justice to create awareness about the Sikh faith.