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The Sikh Coalition News
October 28, 2019
  • Remembering Pittsburgh One Year Later

    October 28, 2019 (Pittsburgh, PA) -- Yesterday marked one year since the devastating attack at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    On October 27, 2018, eleven worshippers were killed and six others were injured when an anti-Semitic gunman stormed the synagogue while Shabbat morning services were being held. To date, it is the deadliest assault on the Jewish community in the United States. Sikhs across the nation stood in solidarity with their Jewish brothers and sisters then, and they continue to do so on this solemn anniversary.

    “We remember the lives lost one year ago, and the families of those who are still grieving today,” said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director. “The United States is strongest when we embrace our nation’s unique diversity, and only together can we continue to combat hate.”

    A number of Sikh Americans have, with support from the Sikh Coalition, authored pieces in major media outlets expressing sorrow at this tragedy and calling for concrete action to stem the rising tide of hate in America. These pieces include:

    • Pittsburgh area resident Chitratan Singh, writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the need to support new hate crime laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
    • Rana Singh Sodhi--brother of Balbir Singh Sodhi, who was killed in a violent hate crime after the September 11th attacks--writing for CNN on the need for greater education and tolerance in the United States today;
    • Interfaith activist and Oak Creek, WI, sangat member Pardeep Singh Kaleka, writing for Religion News Service about the action we must take to combat hate in schools, government, and our own lives;
    • Sikh Coalition Legal Client and Community Services Manager Aasees Kaur, writing for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the need to pass a hate crime law in Georgia (one of four states in the nation without any such law); and
    • Sikh Coalition Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy Sim J Singh, writing for The Hill on the need for Congress to pass the Khalid Jabara-Heather Heyer NO HATE Act to modernize our federal hate crime laws.

    Please consider sharing these works and your own messages of solidarity and support in this difficult time.

    The Sikh Coalition will continue to fight hate across the nation, whether by representing Sikhs who have endured bias-motivated assaults or through advocacy efforts to advance relevant state- and federal-level legislation. Later this week, after months of working directly with Pennsylvania legislators, we plan to mobilize in support of four new measures that will improve hate crime laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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