Media InquiriesPrimary Press Contact: Jagmeet Singh
Media & Communications Manager, the Sikh Coalition
Secondary Press Contact: Mark Reading-Smith
Media & Communications Director, the Sikh Coalition
Sikh Demands Accountability After Texas Terror AccusationApril 27, 2016 (Amarillo, TX) – The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint with Texas law enforcement agencies on behalf of Mr. Daljeet Singh today, demanding that criminal charges be brought against individuals who falsely accused Mr. Singh of making a bomb threat and unlawfully restrained him on a bus. Mr. Singh was a passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling through Amarillo, Texas on February 21, 2016 when he was falsely accused by a fellow passenger of making a terroristic threat.
“The only crime I committed was wearing a turban, having a beard, and speaking in a different language to another brown man on a bus,” said Mr. Singh. “I still cannot believe that this happened to me in America.”
To read Mr. Singh's full statement, click here.
Mr. Singh, a limited English proficient asylum seeker from India, wears a turban and beard as part of his Sikh articles of faith. These articles, which represent equality, justice and tolerance for all, remain routinely misunderstood and falsely linked to terrorism in the United States.
The allegations, which were made by a fellow passenger, were completely fabricated. The passenger profiled Mr. Singh and then alleged that he had been discussing a bomb threat with a second passenger. Additional passengers then unlawfully restrained him until law enforcement arrived. Mr. Singh was jailed for approximately 30 hours. During that time, local news outlets linked Mr. Singh’s name to terrorism charges.
“When you actually see something you should say something,” said Sikh Coalition Senior Staff Attorney, Gurjot Kaur. “However, what happens when you see nothing and concoct a story that is completely baseless because you don’t like the color of someone’s skin, their religious headwear, and the fact that they speak a different language? There must be consequences when bigotry and xenophobia trump common sense on a bus deep in the heart of Texas.”
The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint in Potter County against the first passenger for knowingly filing false charges against Mr. Singh, and an additional complaint was filed against the two other passengers who unlawfully detained him on the bus.
In the 15 years that have followed 9/11, Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to be targeted in cases of profiling, bigotry and backlash than the average American. Sikhism, the fifth largest religion in the world, has been an integral part of the American fabric for over 125 years.
“Nobody deserves to be treated this way in our country,” said Ms. Kaur. “We trust that local law enforcement will treat our complaint with the same vigilance and vigor as the initial complaint received.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Potter County Attorney’s Office cleared Mr. Singh of all criminal wrongdoing.
Mr. Singh is unavailable for media interviews, but for photos or to schedule interviews with family or legal counsel, please contact Mark Reading-Smith or Jagmeet Singh.
Recent Press Releases Issued:
- (April 27, 2016) Sikh Demands Accountability After Texas Terror Accusation
- (April 11, 2016) U.S. Army Acquiesces, Grants Accommodations to Three More Sikh Soldiers
- (April 1, 2016) Military Grants Religious Freedom To Active Duty Sikh Soldier
- (March 29, 2016) Second Lawsuit Filed in Fight To End Military Religious Discrimination
- (March 4, 2016) Court Denies Discriminatory Test for Decorated Sikh Soldier, Defends Religious Freedom
- (March 1, 2016) Hate Crime Charges Finally Filed in Brutal L.A. Bus Driver Assault
- (February 29, 2016)Decorated Sikh Soldier Files Lawsuit After Military Denies Religious Freedom
- (February 2, 2016) New Reporting Tool Launched To Combat Spike in Bigoted Backlash
- (January 13, 2016) LA Sikh Bus Driver Assaulted and Called “Terrorist”
- (December 14, 2015) Landmark Sikh Military Accommodation Reinforces Need To End Discriminatory Ban
- (December 8, 2015) Orange County House of Worship Vandalized With ISIS Hate Language
- (October 22, 2015) From Oak Creek To Chapel Hill: Hate Crime Tragedies Shared With Congress
- (September 15 2015) Sikhs Applaud New Hate Crime Charge, Proceed With Chicago Press Conference Today
- (September 14, 2015) Sikh Hate Crime Press Conference: Tuesday at 11am CST
- (September 11, 2015) Sikhs Demand Federal Hate Crime Prosecution After DuPage Prosecutor Fails
- (September 9, 2015) Chicago Sikh American Assaulted in Hate Crime Last Night
- (June 18, 2015) Sikh Americans Mourn in Wake of Charleston Tragedy Prompted by Hate
- (June 15, 2015) New Court Ruling Progress For Ending Religious Discrimination in Military
- (April 1, 2015) Sikhs Demand LGBT Fix, But No Nix To RFRA Law
- (March 25, 2015) Sikhs Finally Represented in FBI Hate Crime Tracking Program
- (January 29, 2015) New Case Highlights Pentagon’s Failure To Resolve Religious Discrimination
- (December 8, 2014) Sikh Coalition Rejects Flawed and Misleading DOJ Racial Profiling Guidance
- (December 6, 2014) Reports on New Racial Profiling Guidance Shocking to Sikh Community
- (November 19, 2014) HASC Hearing on Religious Accommodations Fails to Address Sikh Loophole
- (August 29, 2014) Sikhs Launch Viral Video to Call 'Foul' on FIBA Turban Ban
- (August 14, 2014) Sikh Hate Crime Targets Demand Action from NYC Government: Recent Hate Attacks Linked to Government Inaction and NYPD Discrimination
- (August 12, 2014) Sikh Hate Crime Targets Demand Action from NYC Government
- (August 8, 2014) Another NYC Sikh Injured in Hate Attack: 2nd Attack in 2 Weeks; Sikh Coalition Urges Witnesses to Step Forward
- (August 5, 2014) Rally This Morning: Sikh Father Hit by Truck, Dragged 30 Feet in Hate Crime
- (August 4, 2014) Press Conference: NYC Sikh Father Hit by Truck, Dragged 30 Feet in Possible Hate Crime
- (July 17, 2014)Sikh Coalition Files FOIA Request for NSA and FBI ‘Raghead’ Documents
- (April 2, 2014) Interfaith Coalition to Pentagon: New Religion Guidelines Still Discriminate
- (March 13, 2014) Groundbreaking National Report on Severe Bullying of Sikh American School Children Released Today in US Congress
- (March 10, 2014) 105 Members of Congress Urge Defense Secretary to End Sikh Service Ban
- (January 29, 2014) Sikhs Press Pentagon to Improve New Religious Accommodation Guidelines
- (January 22, 2014) Sikh Coalition Responds to Amended DOD Religious Guidelines
- (September 21, 2013) "Get Osama" Yelled in Attack on Sikh Columbia University Professor, Victim to Speak at Press Conference
- (May 31, 2013) Decorated Sikh Soldier Presses For End to Ban on Sikh Military Service
- (August 5, 2012) Sikh Coalition Responds To Tragic Shooting in Wisconsinn
- (August 6, 2012) Second Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 6, 2012) Third Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 7, 2012) Fourth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 7, 2012) Fifth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
- (August 8, 2012) Sixth Press Release Issued After the Shooting in Wisconsin
FlyRights Press Kit
Community and Press Advisories
Click here to for an up-to-date list of community and press advisories.
About the Sikh Coalition
The Sikh Coalition is a community-based organization that works towards the realization of civil and human rights for all people. In particular, we work towards a world where Sikhs may freely practice and enjoy their faith while fostering strong relations with their local community wherever they may be.
We pursue our mission by:
- Providing direct legal services to persons whose civil or human rights are violated;
- Advocating for law and policies that are respectful of fundamental rights;
- Promoting appreciation for diversity through education; and
- Fostering civic engagement in order to promote local community empowerment
With a full-time staff of 12 and offices in New York City, Fremont, CA and Washington D.C., we are the most-staffed Sikh organization in the history of the United States.
Photos and videos of the Sikh Coalition's work.
- Introduction to Sikhi
- Style Guide and Glossary
- Common Misconceptions Regarding Sikhism
- Sikh Image in the Media
- 2008 - 2009 Press Releases