April 23, 2020 (Washington, DC) — Nearly one month ago, on March 25, ISIS-affiliated gunmen attacked a gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital city, killing 25 Sikhs. This was followed by a coordinated attempt to bomb the Sikh funeral service held the next day and leave additional explosive devices outside the gurdwara.
These attacks fit an undeniable pattern of targeted violence against Afghanistan’s minority populations. The Sikh and Hindu families who remain have been given ultimatums to leave their homes or face more death and destruction. They need you to take direct action now.
- Click this link so that, in just seconds, you can directly contact your representatives and senators in the U.S. Congress and ask them to resettle and further protect these Sikh and Hindu families.
- Share this call to action via text message, WhatsApp, and email with your family and friends. The goal is to send thousands of messages to congressional offices over the next month, but we can’t do it without your help.
- Post about this effort on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and tag your elected representatives in your posts.
By taking just five minutes and supporting all three of these actions, you can directly support the coordinated efforts that are underway to help resettle Afghan Sikhs and Hindus under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
On April 1, in partnership with civil rights, human rights, and interfaith organizations, the Sikh Coalition delivered a letter to key U.S. congressional offices that oversee U.S. refugee programs and foreign aid to Afghanistan. The letter demanded steps that the U.S. government must take to better protect Afghan Sikhs and Hindus. The Sikh Coalition also signed onto a separate letter on April 8 specifically requesting U.S. refugee protection and resettlement for these families, and we continue working with U.S.-based Sikh civil rights attorneys and the World Sikh Organization to further coordinate and advocate on this issue.
“The United States government can and must do more to protect all religious minorities in Afghanistan,” said Satjeet Kaur, Sikh Coalition Executive Director. “Sikhs in Afghanistan are bearing the unimaginable pain of losing their families and being forced out of the only place they have known as home. The international community, including the United States, must join Canada’s efforts to protect these families from extinction.”
If you have more questions about the current situation for Sikhs in Afghanistan, the World Sikh Organization has compiled background information (along with advocacy requests Canadian citizens can make of their government). They, along with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, have worked with the Canadian government to help resettle several Sikh Afghan families to Canada since 2019.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly–and to stand with those who do so in the face of hate and violence.
Photo credits above: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, World Sikh Organization