Against the backdrop of growing incidents of hate crime against the Sikhs in New York, a New York City Mayor has lauded the community's resilience in overcoming challenges of discrimination and making the US "vibrant".
"I have admired all of the South Asian communities in the city for the crucial role in making New York City vibrant. The Sikh community for me has been a revelation, becoming close to this community and friends with this community and getting to know the glory of the Sikh culture and history," Bill De Blasio said at an event here on Thursday.
Wishing New Yorkers a "Happy Vaisakhi", the mayor voiced appreciation for the resilience shown by the Sikh community despite facing discrimination time and again and continuing their contribution to the social and economic fabric of the country.
He said it has been a "revelation" to understand the "challenges, discrimination and unfairness" the community has confronted and overcome time and time again. He expressed gratitude to the Sikh community for "giving back so much to the city and America."
He added that he espoused the long-held beliefs of the Sikh community of "commonality of all humanity."
The remarks by the mayor come against the backdrop of increase in recent months in hate crimes targeting members of the Sikh community.
Last year on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary, 53-year-old Inderjit Singh Mukker of Illinois was brutally assaulted and called "terrorist" by a teenager. In March, hate crime charges were filed against an individual for brutally attacking Balwinder Jit Singh, a Sikh Los Angeles County bus driver.
In 2014, Sandeep Singh, a Sikh father in New York City, was run over and dragged 30 feet after being called a "terrorist."
In 2012, a gunman with Neo-Nazi ties walked into a Gurdwara and shot and killed six innocent Sikh victims in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in one of the most brutal attacks on the Sikh community in the US.
(Feature image source: AFP)