April 10, 2015 (Fremont, CA) – Sikh history is under attack in California. According to public documents released by the California Department of Education, non-Sikh advocacy organizations are proposing to rewrite Sikh history in the California state curriculum standards.
As a part of our campaign in California to ensure that our history is preserved, we are calling on every Sikh in the United States to join us by signing this petition
. There is strength in numbers and our goal is to demonstrate that Sikh Americans feel strongly about preserving and protecting our history. What happens in California sets a precedent for the rest of the nation.
Two organizations—the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) and a group calling itself California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials (CAPEEM)—are proposing to deny that Sikhism is opposed to idol worship and the caste system. Incredibly, they have even attempted to rewrite the history of Guru Nanak, denying that the founder of the Sikh religion “challenged the authority of the Brahmin and the power of the Mughal empire.”
Both organizations are also attempting to diminish the unique contributions of Sikhs to California’s history. Instead of lobbying for expanded coverage of specific immigrant groups, these organizations are proposing to erase references to Sikhs and replace them with the generic catchphrase, “South Asian.” You can read all of their proposed revisions here
We Need Your Help
Through a combination of education and advocacy, we will continue to resist these efforts to distort Sikh history. But we need your help. We urge Sikhs throughout the United States to join the campaign by signing and sharing our petition to California policymakers
. We must ensure that Sikhs are recognized as a distinct and independent community — one that respects others but also defends the right to define itself.
As always, the Sikh Coalition encourages all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly.