Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sikh-American Congressional caucus formed in US

A bipartisan group of 28 influential lawmakers have establish the first Sikh-American Congressional Caucus in the House of Representatives, with the objective of fighting hate crimes against the community and to work towards enlisting them in the army.

Formally launched at the Capitol Hill yesterday, the first ever Sikh-American Congressional caucus is co-chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu from the Democratic Party and David G Valadao from the Republican.

Attended by eminent Sikh American leaders and organisations from across the country, the lawmakers also hosted a reception at the Capitol Hill in the evening.

\"Sikhs are suffering because many people do not understand or are simply unfamiliar with their religion.

The Sikh American community continues to be disproportionally affected by school bullying and hate crimes. Events lime the devastating tragedy in oak Creek, Wisconsin should never have taken place,\" Republican Congresswoman from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, said in her remarks at a Capitol Hill news conference to announce the launch of the Sikh American Caucus.

The immediate past Chairwoman of the powerful House Committee on Foreign Relations, Ros-Lehtinen, said the Sikh American Caucus will raise awareness of the Sikh religion while advocating for solutions to end bullying and racial profiling, and to protect religious freedom in the workplace.

\"It is time that we embraced our Sikh brothers and sisters as peaceful and productive members of the American society,\" she said.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, coming from California and the leading lawmaker behind this initiative, said that the Caucus will be the voice for American Sikhs in the House of Representatives, working across the aisle to address the unique challenges that this community faces.

\"Together, we will preserve religious freedom, protect the safety of all people, and celebrate America\'s diversity,\" she said. \"More than a decade after 9/11, too many Sikhs across America face discrimination, bullying, and even bias-motivated violence from misguided individuals associating them with the terrorist attacks,\" Chu added.

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