The White House has denied a published report in the New York Times that the cancellation occurred as a result of concerns that the President would suffer politically in the U.S. if he was perceived to be Muslim. Instead the administration maintains the cancellation occurred because the visit did not fit well into the President’s packed schedule.
“The community obviously feels stood up by the President,” said Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director, Sikh Coalition. “The Administration should not have excited the community by the prospect of a visit, and then not made it happen. Unless President Obama wants to be viewed by the community as the ‘President who bailed on the Sikhs,’ he is going to have to figure out a way to make this up to the Sikh American community.”
White House Conference Call Tomorrow – Your Voice Will Be Heard
Tomorrow, the White House will hold a conference call to discuss the President’s trip to India. The Sikh Coalition will participate in the call. It is our intention to strongly convey community sentiment that the President should have visited Darbar Sahib and must be more responsive to Sikh community concerns.
During the last week, over 2,500 people wrote letters to the President expressing the sentiment that he should visit Darbar Sahib. In addition, many people contributed pictures of politicians and dignitaries in Gurdwaras
to convey to the message that politicians of all stripes have visited Gurdwaras while respecting Sikh practices.
The Coalition thanks the community for its quick and effective engagement on this issue. We pledge to the community that we will continue to directly press the White House and President to be responsive to Sikh community concerns.
As always, the Coalition continues to encourage all Sikhs to fearlessly practice their faith and stand up for their rights.