Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Sikh American Family Receives Death Threat


SALDEF Calls Upon FBI and Local Officials to Investigate Hate Incident

(3/2/12, Washington, DC)— This past Tuesday, February 28, 2012, a Sikh American family from Sterling, Virginia received a letter containing death threats addressed to ‘Turban Family’.

The text of the letter was as follows:

“Our People in the neighborhood have been closely watching your activities and figured out you are a close associate of a secret Taliban movement on the US Soil. We ask you to leave the country as soon as possible otherwise one of our people is going to shoot you dead. Don”t attempt to relocate somewhere else in America as people are closely monitoring your day to day activities.”

Click here to see the actual letter

This family has been the target of previous hate crimes as well.  In 2003, while living in Gaithersburg, Maryland their home was vandalized with graffiti and they received two threatening letters.  Then, in 2005, after moving to Leesburg, Virginia, they received two more death threats via mail.  In the latter of these cases, the FBI was able to apprehend a suspect for the threat.

SALDEF has been in contact with the FBI and local law enforcement and urges them to fully investigate this incident as a hate crime.

“Incidents like these are constant reminders of the challenges that Sikh Americans face as a result of our unique identity.  In the absence of awareness about who are and what we stand for, Sikh Americans continue to endure harassment, discrimination and threats which run counter to the American ideals ,” said SALDEF Associate Executive Director, Jasjit Singh. “We call upon local and federal law enforcement agencies to rightfully classify this incident as a hate crime and bring the perpetrators to justice to show that hate and violence are not tolerated in our society.”

SALDEF urges all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities.  

7 Responses to “Sikh American Family Receives Death Threat”

  1. Mandeep S Nagra says:

    Thanks to SALDEF for taking this up with FBI. This is very sad indeed. Ignorant people like the ones who sent this letter would consider Sikhs as their best friends if they know the Sikh History.
    as Sikhs we need to spread more awareness by participating and organizing Langars and chabeels
    in our neighborhoods, at our work or in teh vicinity of teh Gurudwara. We do good things BUT aalways inside the Gurudwara. We should put up an American Flag outside our houses on special days. Publish advertisements or fliers in the local newspapers from time to time to make ignorant Americans familair wit hSikh Values, Sikh History.

  2. [...] According to SALDEF (the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund), a Sikh family in Sterling, Virginia received a death threat in the mail this week. The anonymous and letter accuses this family as being members of the Taliban: “Our People in the neighborhood have been closely watching your activities and figured out you are a close associate of a secret Taliban movement on the US Soil. We ask you to leave the country as soon as possible otherwise one of our people is going to shoot you dead. Don’t attempt to relocate somewhere else in America as people are closely monitoring your day to day activities.” [...]

  3. Jim says:

    My name is Jim and I live nearby sterling. If people are gathering to combat this intolerance I would like to be kept in the loop.

  4. erika says:

    “one of our people is going to shoot you dead”

    …How ironic that these folks consider themselves “true Americans” and yet they don’t know basic grammar. What a bunch of ignorant morons.

  5. Karl says:

    Is anyone covering the deeper question behind this story: Are Americans really this stupid or it an unfortunate media representation?

  6. Silas Byrne says:

    All of Virginia isn’t like this. Charlottesville’s new mayor is Sikh and has been a leader in the community for decades. If Sterling was a little closer I’d suggest that poor family find a way to move here.

  7. amandeep singh says:

    India media always potrays Sikhs in negative manner.

Leave a Reply