Washington: A new
bipartisan American Sikh Congressional Caucus has been formed to
educate US lawmakers and the general public about Sikh issues and
support the American Sikh community that has often faced
discrimination post 9/11.
Co-chaired by Democrat Judy Chu and Republican David Valadao, both
House members from California, the caucus was joined by 28 members
of Congress from both parties.
"More than a decade after 9/11, too many Sikhs across America face
discrimination, bullying, and even bias-motivated violence from
misguided individuals associating them with the terrorist
attacks," said Chu announcing the formation of the caucus Tuesday.
"This caucus will be the voice for American Sikhs in the House of
Representatives, working across the aisle to address the unique
challenges that this community faces," she said.
Thanking members of Congress lending their voices to this cause,
Chu said: "Together, we will preserve religious freedom, protect
the safety of all people, and celebrate America's diversity."
"The Central Valley is home to more than 25,000 Sikhs, one of the
largest Sikh populations in the United States," said Valadao.
"Sikhs have a very strong presence in our communities and have
made great contributions to our society, he said.
The lawmakers noted that since 9/11 Sikh Americans have faced
increased levels of discrimination and even violence from
individuals who mistakenly believe they are associated with
terrorist attacks on the US.
The caucus intends to address among other things military
discrimination preventing American Sikhs from enlisting due to
restrictive appearance regulations that ban turbans; violence and
bullying faced by American Sikhs, racial profiling and employment
Welcoming the formation of the caucus, Pritpal Singh, coordinator
American Sikh Gurdwara Committee said it would give advocacy
groups a platform to disseminate information to policymakers about
significant issues affecting the Sikh community.