For media inquires please contact our Media & Communications Director, Mark Reading-Smith. 202-380-8489, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds Rally To Combat Hate After Sikh Assault in Chicago
For Immediate Release
September 15, 2015 (Chicago, IL) – Chicago interfaith leaders, public officials and hundreds of local community members joined the Sikh Coalition for a press conference at 11am CST/12pm EST this morning to rally in support of hate crime victim, Inderjit Singh Mukker.
To live stream the press conference, which also includes speeches from Reverend Otis Moss (Trinity Church) and Marty Castro (Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights), please click here NOW.
To read the full press conference remarks from Mr. Mukker and Sikh Coalition Board Chairman, Narinder Singh click here and here.
Mr. Mukker, a 53-year-old Sikh American and father of two, was viciously beaten in his car after being called racial slurs such as “Bin Laden,” while on his way to the grocery store in the Chicago suburb of Darien on Tuesday, September 8th. After initially not filing hate crime charges on Friday, the Sikh Coalition met and reviewed evidence with the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office on Monday. That meeting catalyzed the decision to file a hate crime charge in the case on Monday.
“The United States is my country. I am an American – and no American should be judged or attacked because of the color of their skin or their religion,” said Mr. Mukker at the press conference this morning.
The press conference and community rally in support of Mr. Mukker coincided with the anniversary of the first deadly hate crime in the United States after 9/11. Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh American, was shot and killed on September 15, 2001 after a man, yelling similar racial slurs, opened fire on him at his gas station in Arizona.
“From Balbir Singh Sodhi’s tragic death to Inderjit Singh Mukker’s assault last week, we are all reminded of how much more we still have to do to combat the problem of hate in our country,” said the Sikh Coalition’s Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur. “We are thankful that Robert Berlin and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office have filed hate crime charges in Mr. Mukker’s case. It sends a clear message to Sikhs and other minority communities throughout Chicago that our government will not tolerate this sort of misguided bigotry and violence.”
Sikhs wear their articles of faith (including a turban and beard) to show their commitment to justice, equality and the rights of all. While Sikhs have been an integral part of the American fabric for over 125 years, the community has faced disproportionate discrimination and targeted hate crimes in the 14 years since 9/11. To learn more basics about the Sikh faith and community, click here.
To schedule additional interviews or receive more material (including photos and video footage from the press conference), please contact the Sikh Coalition’s Media & Communications Director, Mark Reading-Smith. The Sikh Coalition has been representing hate crime victims throughout the United States for the past 14 years and is representing Mr. Mukker in this case.
Recent Press Releases Issued:
- (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
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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 10 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.