Sikhs under attack in the USA: From 9/11 till date
Violent attacks on Sikhs spiked after September 11, 2001. The following are some of the incidents reported as hate crimes:
September 15, 2001: Balbir Singh Sodhi, a 49-year-old Sikh man in Mesa, Arizona, is shot and killed outside his gas station. The shooter, Frank Silva Roque, sought revenge for the 9/11 attacks and mistook Sodhi for a Muslim.
October 2001: While stopped at a red light in San Diego, Swaranjit Kaur Bhullar is stabbed by two men on a motorcycle who say: “This is what you get for what you’ve done to us.”
November 18, 2001: Three teens burn down a gurdwara, or temple, named Gobind Sadan in Palermo, New York, because they thought it was named for Osama bin Laden.
December 12, 2001: Surinder Singh Sidhu is beaten with metal poles by two men who walk into his Los Angeles liquor store and accuse him of being Osama bin Laden. Sidhu had taken to wearing American flag turbans after 9/11.
May 20, 2003: Truck driver Avtar Singh Cheira is shot in his 18-wheeler while waiting for his son to pick him up in Phoenix, Arizona. The shooter yelled: “Go back to where you came from.”
March 13, 2004: A gurdwara in Fresno, California, is vandalized with graffiti messages: “Rags Go Home” and “It’s Not Your Country.”
July 12, 2004: Cousins Rajinder Singh Khalsa and Gurcharan Singh are beaten by two men. The attackers call Gurcharan Singh’s turban a “curtain” and taunt him. Khalsa tries to explain the significance of a turban and is beaten unconscious. The attackers yell “Go back to your country.”
July 2, 2006: Iqbal Singh is stabbed in the neck in front of his home in San Jose, California. The assailant says he wanted to “kill a Taliban.”
May 24, 2007: A 15-year-old student’s hair is forcibly cut by an older student at his high school in Queens, New York. The older student had a ring with Arabic writing and said: “This ring is Allah. If you don’t let me cut your hair, I will punch you with this ring.”
May 30, 2007: U.S. Navy veteran Kuldip Singh Nag is approached by a police officer outside his home in Joliet, Illinois, for an expired vehicle registration tag. The officer reportedly assaults Nag with pepper spray while shouting anti-immigrant expletives.
January 14, 2008: Baljeet Singh’s jaw and nose are broken in an attack outside his gurdwara in New Hyde Park, New York.
April 11, 2008: A Sikh graduate student at Texas A&M University is called a terrorist before he is attacked and has his turban knocked off his head.
June 5, 2008: A ninth grade Sikh student in Queens, New York, is attacked by another student who tried to remove his under-turban and has a history of bullying the boy.
June 5, 2008: A Sikh family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, awakes to see their car defaced with the message “F*** Allah!” and a picture of male genitalia.
January 30, 2009: Three men attack Jasmir Singh outside a Queens, New York, grocery store. The attackers hurl racial slurs and use a broken glass bottle. Singh loses vision in his left eye.
November 28, 2010: Harbhajan Singh, a Sacramento, California, cab driver, is beaten and left bleeding by two men after dropping them off. One of the men asks if Singh is Osama bin Laden.
March 6, 2011: Two elderly Sikh men in traditional garb, out for their daily afternoon walk in Elk Grove, California, are shot and killed. The motive of the perpetrators is thought to be anti-Muslim.
May 30, 2011: New York transit worker Jiwan Singh is attacked on the A train and accused of being the brother of Osama bin Laden. He loses three teeth. His son, Jasmir Singh, was attacked in 2009 by three men using racial slurs outside a grocery in Queens.
February 28, 2012: A Sikh family in Sterling, Virginia, receives a letter containing death threats addressed to “Turban Family” that says: “We ask you to leave the country as soon as possible otherwise one of our people is going to shoot you dead.”
February 6, 2012: A gurdwara in Sterling Heights, Michigan, is defaced with graffiti that includes a gun and references to 9/11.
August 5, 2012: A gunman opens fire in a gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, during prayer services. Six people are killed. Police shoot the gunman dead.
May 5, 2013: Piara Singh is beaten with a steel pipe outside a gurdwara in Fresno, California. Police call it a hate crime.
July, 30, 2013: A gurdwara in Riverside, California, is vandalized with the words “Terrorist” and “Terrist!” (sic) scrawled on its walls and parking lot.
September 21, 2013: Dr. Prabhjot Singh and a friend are beaten by a large group of teenagers and young men near New York’s Central Park. Singh says he heard someone yell: “Terrorist, Osama, get him.”
September 8, 2015: Inderjit Singh Mukker is assaulted in the Chicago suburb of Darien by a teenager who yells: “Terrorist, go back to your country” and “Bin Laden!” Mukker is left unconscious and has to be hospitalized after the beating.
November 6, 2015: Los Angeles County bus driver Balwinder Jit Singh is attacked on his bus by a man who called Singh a “terrorist” and a “suicide bomber.” Singh is left with a disfigured face.
December 6, 2015: A Buena Park, California, Sikh center is defaced with graffiti including an expletive and the word “ISIS.”
December 26, 2015: Amrik Singh Bal is beaten and run over by a car in Fresno, California.
March 2, 2016: A gurdwara in Spokane, Washington, is vandalized and the temple’s holy book desecrated. The attacker told police he thought the gurdwara was a mosque connected to ISIS.