In a rare gesture, the Obama administration has assured American Sikhs of their safety and security amid a recent spike in threats and hate crimes against the community.

Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships office of the White House, visited a Gurudwara in Maryland to deliver the message of reassurance from President Barack Obama.

b’US President Barack Obama | Source: File photo/ Reuters’

Asserting that the US government stands with Sikhs in America, Rogers also expressed empathy with the Sikh community over the recent incidents of violence against it and a reported case of vandalism at a Los Angeles Gurudwara. 

“I want to offer our deepest condolences for some recent violence and attacks against Sikhs and Sikh institutions. These reports are of tremendous concern to us as we they are to you. We feel a deep sense of loss for victims of these crimes,” Rogers said in her address to the community at the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF) Gurudwara. 

“When these kinds of things happen there is kind of deep sense of violation and anxiety. We want you to know that we stand by with you during these challenging times,” she was quoted as saying by an official statement. 

Rogers said such incidents not only cause a great grief among the people who are being attacked and the communities mostly associated with it, but they also threaten all as America draws its strength from the diversity of its people. 

b’A Sikh boy marches in the annual Sikh Day Parade in New York, April 2015 | Source: Reuters/ File photo’

“We want you to know that we stand by you and we will continue to work until we stamp these incidents out. Like you, we believe that attack on any faith is an attack is an attack on every faith,” Rogers said.

 “It is essential that all faith communities here and all over the world stand against hate motivated violence. We will continue to stand with you and we will continue to work to ensure that security and your civil constitutional rights are protected,” she added.

 “Sikh community has shown tremendous resilience in face of challenges and I am confident that you will triumph and we will be there with you to triumph over the current challenges that we face together,” Rogers said in her remarks. She was presented with a ‘siropa’ and a book on the Sikh scriptures.