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  • A viral video released in early 2015 shows a young American Sikh boy being harassed on

  • the school bus by other kids. One young girl points at him and chantsTerrorist! Terrorist!”

  • This event, and the video’s spread online, serves to illustrate the general ignorance

  • of Sikhism. So who are the Sikhs?

  • The Sikhs are a people from Northern India, who subscribe to the dictations of 10 important

  • Gurus. Their philosophy is encapsulated in the Guru Granth Sahib , which is the holy

  • book of Sikhism. In general: Sikhs believe in one god, equality among all, freedom of

  • religion and community service. The Sikh religion is independent from the other major monotheistic

  • religions, as well as Buddhism and Hinduism.

  • Sikhs are well known for a few distinct physical attributes. Men usually wear a specific type

  • of turban called a Dastaar. And both men and women often wear a steel or iron bracelet

  • called a Kara. A Sikh’s uncut hair and the bracelet are two of five articles of faith

  • that they are expected to wear at all times. The other articles include a wooden comb,

  • cotton undergarments and a stylized dagger. These five articles symbolize a Sikh’s commitment

  • to their faith.

  • Sikhism originated in the 15th century in the Punjab (pun-jab) region of what is now

  • northern Pakistan and India. Following the independence of the south asian colonies from

  • Britain in 1947, Punjab was split between Pakistan and India. This caused civil unrest

  • and violence for a long time, although tensions have cooled since the ‘90s. The most holy

  • Sikh gurdwara (goo-roo-dwa-RA), or place of worship, is the Golden Temple in India.

  • The Pew Research Center reports that Sikhism is the fifth largest religion worldwide, and

  • there are about 25 million adherents. The religion is considered the 5th largest internationally.

  • Nine out of ten Sikhs reportedly live in India, but there are large communities abroad, especially

  • in the UK, the US, and Canada.

  • In the video from the beginning, the original upload by the young Sikh boy included a description

  • saying, (quote) “Kids being racist to me and calling me an Afghani terroristIf

  • u don’t know I’m not Muslim I’m Sikh” (end quote). Since the September 11th attacks,

  • there have been an increased number of hate crimes against Sikhs. Many people still don’t

  • know just how vastly different their religion is compared to Islamic extremism.

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  • in New Delhi. You can click the link in the description to see that full video, and make

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A viral video released in early 2015 shows a young American Sikh boy being harassed on

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