Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nidhi Prakash

So many Brown People died and brutally harassed after 9/11:

Sikh, Indian, Pakistani, Egyptians, Syrians, Iraqis…

And those who suffered most and were terrified were the mothers and kids in schools.

Inderjit Singh Mukker was driving to the grocery store on Tuesday in Darien, a suburb of Chicago, when he was harassed on the road by another driver, India TV reports.

When the Sikh American father of two pulled over to let the other man pass, the erratic driver allegedly got out of his vehicle and assaulted Mukker while shouting discriminatory slurs like “Terrorist, go back to your country, Bin Laden!”

John Walker and Nidhi Prakash posted this Sept. 10, 2015

Mukker lost consciousness during the beating. He sustained lacerations to the cheek and a fractured cheekbone, which required six stitches at a hospital.

The brutal attack highlights the discrimination and violence the Sikh community faces every year around the anniversary of 9/11.

Members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, their guests, and supporters attend a vigil on Aug. 5, 2013, to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at their temple in Oak Creek, Wis. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group representing Mukker, pressed the Darien Police Department to investigate the case as a hate crime.

“A hate crime is not just an attack on an individual, it’s an attack on the entire community,” Gurjot Kaur, Senior Staff Attorney for the Sikh Coalition, told us on Thursday. She was able to confirm from Darien Police Chief Ernest Brown that the department plans to investigate the case as a hate crime.

Under state law, residents of Illinois are protected on the basis of their actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, and physical or mental disability. The attack on Mukker could conceivably check at least half of those identifying boxes.

Members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, their guests, and supporters attend a vigil on Aug. 5, 2013, to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at their temple in Oak Creek, Wis. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Every year, as Sept. 11 approaches, the Sikh Coalition has observed in increase in the number of attacks on Sikh-Americans.

“In the last few years especially, we’ve seen a spike in violence against the Sikh community around the 9/11 anniversary,” said Kaur.

“It started off immediately after 9/11. If you remember, the first 9/11 backlash murder victim was Balbir Singh Sodhi on Sept. 15, 2001.

He was shot and killed in Mesa, Ariz., by a guy who thought he was, you know, getting rid of ‘the terrorists’ and helping the government out,” she said.

Members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, their guests, and supporters attend a vigil on Aug. 5, 2013, to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting at their temple in Oak Creek, Wis. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kaur connected the 2012 shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., to this phenomenon. On Aug. 5, 2012, a lone gunman opened fire on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, killing six people. Kaur said that the racially motivated shooting in Charleston, S.C., in June of this year reminded her of that prior attack.

“We saw what happened in Charleston, and we could very much relate to that attack,” she said. “People getting killed because of the color of their skin, because of their religious appearance. It’s very frightening that that’s the America that we live in today.”

Part of the problem in addressing the issue of anti-Sikh violence and discrimination in the U.S. stems from the fact that the FBI only began tracking instances of hate crimes committed against Sikhs in 2015. Before this year, organizations like the Sikh Coalition have had to step in to gather such valuable information.

“We don’t have exact numbers, but we know that there were 300 incidents within the first three months since 9/11, and hundreds over the years,” Kaur told Fusion. “We’ve done surveys across the country and 60% of Sikh students nationwide report that they are bullied because of their Sikh articles of faith.”

Note: #afterseptember11 is a hashtag which, in less than 24 hours, has been populated with stories of discrimination, profiling, and actions people took to escape being seen as an enemy following the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.

A young woman in Chicago, Jess Talwar, started it yesterday after posting a story about what her father did to avoid profiling after the attacks.

In the 17 hours since Talwar first tweeted with the hashtag, more than 46,000 tweets that include it have been posted. Some are attempts to derail the conversation, or the spam that bleeds into any popular twitter hashtag, but it’s largely an outpouring of experience and encouragement to read and share the stories being tweeted.

Here are a few samples of Tweets sent during and years after the Twin Tower:

  1. After 9/11, my dad stopped growing his full beard, and I didn’t realize until I got older the reasoning was to avoid being profiled
  2. Being asked if “allahu akbar” is something I would say before blowing up
  3. When you’re 8 and all of your white friends parents tell them they can no longer speak to you and be anywhere near you.
  4.  Almost never being able to make friends as a kid because their parents wouldn’t want them hanging out w/ “my people”
  5. My classmates parents wouldn’t let their kids hang out with me cuz they thought I’d make them become terrorists
  6. Every time my family buys airplane tickets, we are “randomly” selected. Every. Single. Time.
  7.  Being asked if I was sad that bin laden got murdered
  8. Being chased off the playground almost every day while kids screamed at me “your dad killed the towers”
  9. My mom stopped wearing her hijab in public because of the profiling and looks of disgust. She literally feared her life.
  10. My mom was called “bin laden’s mom” on the street and God knows what else she has to endure she’s not telling me.
  11. Imagine being 9 and wondering why your teacher decided to call on you and ask you why your faith advocates for bombings
  12. Someone threw a brick at my friend’s grandma when she was visiting NYC. People were willing to hurt an old lady. Horrible.
  13. Going from speaking Farsi fluently to my mom not speaking it for a year
  14.  I grew up without a mom because someone with a gun decided that she needed to answer for it with her life




November 2022

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