Satpal Singh, chairperson of the World Sikh Council – American Region, recently published a reflection in response to the September 21 attack on Dr. Prabhjot Singh. His article, entitled, “Our Resolve in the Face of Terror and Hate,” tells of the work of Dr. Singh for a better community and analyzes the nature of hate crimes.
Such crimes are attacks against a person or a particular place. They are also attacks against a whole community. Satpal Singh puts it this way:
Beyond the death of innocents, their ‘victory’ lies in shaking the foundation of a free society. It manifests in a sense of fear in the society, with everyone looking over his or her shoulders. It manifests in a sense of suspicion of others, including neighbors, especially of those who look different. And even more perniciously, the terrorist victory lies in creating hate among people, and heightening the divisions within a society.
We deny hate its victory when we control our suspicions, build community, and overcome fear with love. Dr. Singh demonstrates this in his response to the attack he endured as reported by The Times of India:
“If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing. May be invite them to the gurdwara where we worship, get to know who we are… Make sure they have an opportunity to move past this as well.”
Satpal Singh expresses a similar resolve and vision:
May God enlighten the attackers and bring peace and understanding to their mind. Let the light of love pierce through the clouds of hate and illuminate our hearts with universal love and harmony.
God made this world a wonderful place for all of us to live in peace and happiness. Let us not allow the terrorists to undermine the house of God.
See you along the Trail.