December 20, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Today, the Sikh Coalition joined the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address our Gurdwara Security Project and discuss the necessary steps that we should be taking to make sure our houses of worship remain safe.
Click here to watch the Facebook Live video with Scott Breor, Director of the Protective Security Coordination Division at DHS, and learn more about the easy steps you can take to help make your gurdwara safer.
Click here to download our Gurdwara Security Toolkit (in English & Punjabi), and contact Community Development Manager Aasees Kaur at Aasees@sikhcoalition.org to schedule a free gurdwara consultation.
These experts provide free advice on protecting gurdwaras against shootings, vandalism, arson and bomb threats. Since the start of 2017, 52 gurdwaras have engaged the Sikh Coalition for free consultations.
According to recent reports, including the FBI’s 2016 hate crime statistics, hate crimes are on the rise, and this potentially life-saving advice remains highly relevant to the Sikh American community. In late August, a gurdwara in Los Angeles was vandalized with threatening hate graffiti. During the last year, numerous mosques and synagogues have been subjected to arson attacks and bomb threats. Last month, a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was the scene of a mass murder by a gunman and follows the Charleston tragedy in 2015 and the Oak Creek massacre in 2012.
“While we refuse to live in fear, Sikhs must remain vigilant due to the reality that we remain at high risk on the streets, in our workplaces and even in our places of worship,” said the Sikh Coalition’s National Advocacy Manager, Sim J. Singh.
The Sikh Coalition has distributed the free Gurdwara Security Toolkit by email and mail to approximately 230 gurdwaras nationwide. While a remarkable number of gurdwaras have taken advantage of the free resources, nearly 170 gurdwaras have not yet participated.
“It is a nice program for all gurdwaras to go through so they can get feedback on whether their security programs are up to par or not,” said Dr. Satinder Singh Bharaj from the Guru Nanak Society of Greater Cincinnati gurdwara in Hamilton, Ohio.
1. Share at Gurdwara – Please share our Gurdwara Security Toolkit with your gurdwara management committee, and ask the management to establish a working group on facility security.
2. Schedule a Consultation – Schedule a security consultation for your gurdwara by contacting Community Development Manager Aasees Kaur at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Share on Social Media – Please share the toolkit on social media, and help us create awareness and dialogue about the need to secure gurdwaras.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.