Barbs, Taunts, Worse
- The shooting in a Wisconsin gurudwara is only the latest in a continuing series of hate crimes against American Sikhs
- Such attacks—and discrimination in workplaces, bullying in schools—started as a fallout of the 9/11 attacks, as Americans related articles of the Sikh faith—like the turban and beard—with Osama bin Laden, terrorism and Taliban
- Since early 2011, a gurudwara in Michigan has been defaced, two Sikh Americans murdered in California, and a man beaten up in New York
The letters started arriving nine years ago; each one more menacing in tone than its predecessor. “You Taliban, go back home,” read one message mailed to Joginder Singh Sodhi’s home outside Washington. As Sodhi’s young family grew, it moved into a new home. Twice. And each time the type-written letters followed. One sent to him in February was laden with dark threats against his family. “The language in this one was vulgar. It said my children would be sold in Cuba and our womenfolk would be tied with our turbans and nasty things would be done to them,” he recalls. “This person has been tracking me, that is the scary part. He knows where I am,” says Sodhi, who preferred to use a pseudonym for this interview out of concern for the safety of his family. FBI investigators have been unable to crack the case of the hatemail.