Turban Does Not Mean Terrorism: Mayor Eric Adams To Sikhs
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – Acknowledging the contributions of the Sikh community in the US and pledging to protect them in the future, New York City Mayor said he takes full responsibility for the recent hate-motivated attacks against its members, and that their “turban does not mean terrorism”.
Adams addressed members of the Sikh community at Baba Makhan Shah Labana Sikh Center in South Richmond Hill on October 29 after two back-to-back incidents in New York, which left an elderly Sikh dead and saw another punched and beaten for wearing a turban.
“Your turban does not mean terrorism. It means protecting, it means community, it means family, it means faith, it means city, it means us coming together. We will change the dialogue and narrative with you. We can do it together,” Adams said.
“It is so ironic that my knowledge of what your turban represents. It represents your history of being a protector that is now being used as a target and a tool to seek out and harm your community.”
Adam’s remarks came about the 19-year-old Mani Sandhu who was punched, and an attempt was made to remove his turban onboard a Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus in New York City this month. Sandhu, who moved to the US 10 months ago said that the attack had left him “shaken and angry”.
Adams said that Sikhs have served as an “anchor” and their presence has uplifted the Richmond Hill community.
The mayor also called the killing of 66-year-old Jasmer Singh, who died after being beaten during a road rage incident on October 19, as a “violent senseless act”, and vowed to protect the community and educate people about Sikhism.
“Jasmer should still be with us. He should still be with his son. He should still be living out the American dream, watching his son, who’s now an immigration attorney. He should still be looking and part of this community. That dream turned into a nightmare the other day when his life was taken from us prematurely,” Adams said.
“I will commit myself to educate, to protect, and to continuously be a part of this community. This community means so much to me,” he said.
Joining Adams was New York Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar who said that as the first Punjabi ever elected to state office, she will “not stop working until we end this hate.”
Local activists told CBS News that they are in the process of fundraising to start a patrol group as recent police data has shown that crimes have gone down where civilian patrols are conducted.