Residents, leaders gather in Queens amid rise in hate against Sikh community

ByEyewitness News, Anthony Carlo WABC logo
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Queens residents gather amid rise in hate against Sikh community
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Anthony Carlo has more on the show of support in Queens.

QUEENS, New York (WABC) -- Community members gathered in Queens Wednesday evening to speak out against anti-Sikh hate.

"Antisemitism is on the rise, Islamophobia is on the rise, and at the end of the day when one community is attacked, we're all attacked," said Japneet Singh, the organizer of the event.

Mani Sadhu was attacked for wearing a turban, police say. Christopher Philippeaux has been charged with a hate crime in connection with the attack.

"He say to me, 'We don't wear this in America,'" Sandhu said. "I don't feel safe when I come out from home."

As conflict continues in the Middle East, so does ignorance and hate closer to home.

People from all faiths gathered at Gurdwara Sikh cultural Society in South Richmond Hill to show support for the Sikh community.

"In my own family just last week, two of my nieces faced hate crimes. One of them reported the man who stopped her in the street and berated her in front of her children, calling her terrorist," said Debbie Almontaser with the Muslim Community Network. "How do you, as a mother, explain what the word terrorist means to your child?"

Many fear that as hostility once again grows toward the Muslim community, so will it toward Sikhs.

"I remember we had stickers on our car after 9/11 to tell them we are Sikhs. I think we should put those stickers back in 2023," said Subeg Multani, whose father was killed after a fender bender.

Police investigated Jasmer Singh's, 68, death as road rage, but Multani's family believes it was a hate crime.

Gilbert Augustin was arrested and charged with manslaughter for the attack on October 19.

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