September 10, 2015 (New York, NY) – On September 8, 2015, Inderjit Singh Mukker, a Sikh American resident in the Darien suburb of Chicago, Illinois was viciously attacked after an assailant pulled up to his car yelling racial slurs, including, “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!”
Mr. Mukker, a father of two, was on his way to the grocery store when the verbal taunting was initiated. Mr. Mukker turned onto another street, but was repeatedly cut off by the driver. Mr. Mukker pulled over to the side of the road to let him pass, but the driver instead pulled in front of his car and aggressively approached Mr. Mukker’s vehicle. The assailant then reached into the car and repeatedly punched Mr. Mukker in the face, causing him to lose consciousness, bleed profusely and suffer a fractured cheekbone and a laceration to his cheek. He was rushed to the hospital, where he received six stitches, treatment for lacerations, bruising and swelling.
The suspect is in custody and the Darien Police Department has notified the Sikh Coalition that they are investigating this matter as a hate crime.
“On the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, the violent attack on Mr. Mukker is another painful reminder for all Americans that hate remains alive and well in the United States,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur. “While we relentlessly work to protect Mr. Mukker’s rights and work hard to ensure that hate crime charges are pursued in this case, we urge all Americans to reach out to their neighbors to build bridges of understanding. It is through recognizing our collective humanity that we can work together to end hate."
What You Can Do To Help
- Send Mr. Mukker Thoughts and Prayers: As Mr. Mukker recovers, the Sikh Coalition invites supporters around the world to express solidarity by clicking here to send a message. Alternatively, you can mail a card to the Sikh Coalition’s office at Inderjit Singh Mukker c/o The Sikh Coaltion, 50 Broad Street, Suite 1537, New York, NY 10004.
- Contact Your Congressional Representative: Send an email to your congressional representative to request that they co-sponsor H-Res. 413, a resolution honoring the victims of post-9/11 hate crimes, including Sikh Americans.
- Sikh Awareness: This is a critical time for everyone (Sikhs and non-Sikhs) to raise awareness and appreciation about the Sikh American community. Host and/or conduct a Sikh awareness presentation in your school, place of employment, library, police station, town hall, etc. For community and Sikh awareness resources, please click here.
- Learn More About Hate Crimes Law: Click here to read our FAQs on Hate Crimes and Hate Speech. Please contact the Sikh Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on how to raise awareness on hate crimes and hate crimes law with your sangat.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges Sikhs everywhere to practice their faith fearlessly.