9/11 attacks: How turbans instigate hate crime in America

Posted on October 11, 2013 by



Connor Medvec

World Religions

Cultural Arts Review

The article, “9/11 attacks: How Turbans Instigate hate crime in America” by News Desk published in the Express Tribune, talked about how turbans in the fashion world and in the Sikhs religion can cause hate crimes. In this article, I learned that religions whose followers wear turbans have often been targeted socially and violently towards hate crimes.  One such group is the Sikhs of the Islamic religion.  After the 9/11 incident, Americans started categorizing this group with Osama Bin Laden for the hate crimes. From what I have researched about the Sikhs they wear their turbans to cover their hair that they do not cut from birth. The Sikhs do not cut their hair from birth because they feel that hair is pure, sacred, and natural. They wear the turbans to prevent their hair from becoming tangled and coming in contact with pollutants.  Yet, as a result of this harmless religious practice, they get terrorized by Americans who began to associate turbans with terrorism after the events of 9/11.

Being that wearing turbans is part of their religious customs, I feel that it is wrong that Americans stereotype groups such as the Sikh for following their common beliefs. Just because it is not a common religious practice in America to wear turbans, does not mean that it is right for people to terrorize and violently beat people wearing them. An example stated in the article about violence towards these religious groups occurred on August 5, 2012 when Wade Michael Page, a white male, gunned down six people and wounded four others at the Oak Creek Sikh Temple. This represents one of many wrong doings by Americans towards a minority of the population that is stereotyped for their religious beliefs and practices.

In the article, it states that Sikhs and Muslims are perceived as outsiders.  Again, I believe that this is just not right.  Just because turbans are associated with terrorists organizations in American society, they should not labeled for being just as much a part of society as we are. Most of these religious minorities abide by the same laws we abide by, therefore, we should not judge them. For example, Catholics are not discriminated against for taking part in the religious practice of lent, so why should Sikh and Muslims be criticized for wearing turbans as a part of their religion?

As you can see from the information I have gathered, there is still much that can be learned from different cultures. In the American society we are still quick to judge those who are different from us, specifically those who wear turbans. It is a religious practice, yet it is being discriminated against in places such as the United States which promote freedom and diversity. Turbans in the Sikh and Muslim world are an important aspect of their religion, and for that, they should not be judged for it. The other main world religions and their practices are not stereotyped, therefore this religious practice should not be either. If we can change this, we will have the potential to become a more accepting society with less violence and hatred towards those whose religious practices may be different but an important aspect of their lives and their beliefs.

Sources: http://tribune.com.pk/story/602706/911-attacks-how-turbans-instigate-hate-crime-in-america/, http://sikhism.about.com/od/religioustolerance/a/Sikh_Turban.htm


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