Essays Sikh Faith

Originally published in the Huffington Post. The following are my remarks from the Pentagon's second-ever commemoration of the Sikh faith on May 1, 2015. I spoke alongside Simran Jeet Singh and Inni Kaur on "Seva" - selfless service in the Sikh religion. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain on Vaisakhi, the program was organized by Major Kamal Singh Kalsi and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs and other people of faith to be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. My remarks at the first-ever Sikh event at the Pentagon

Published by Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered at the Pentagon's first-ever event to commemorate the Sikh faith on April 25, 2014. Hosted by the Pentagon Chaplain, the program was organized by Major Kalsi, Captain Rattan, Corporal Lamba, and the Sikh Coalition, an organization leading the campaign for turbaned Sikhs and other people of faith to be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. Thank you to the Pentagon Chaplain and Chaplain corps for gathering us here to celebrate Vaisakhi, the

Published on CNN. This holiday season, an ad campaign is selling clothes and challenging bigotry in America. A poster of a turbaned and bearded man in Gap clothes with a woman hanging on his shoulder hit store windows and subway walls across the United States last month as part of Gap's "Make Love" ad campaign. The model is Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh actor whose turban and beard is part of his faith. For the first time, a mainstream, nationwide ad presents a turbaned man as beautiful, even sexy. He is not a

Published on Huffington Post. The following remarks were delivered by Valarie Kaur at The White House on November 20, 2013. Waheguru Ji Ka Kalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh Thank you to President Obama and his staff for gathering us in the White House to celebrate Gurpurab, the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh faith. I am deeply honored to reflect on the story of our faith with you. The story begins halfway around the world in Punjab with the birth of a humble herdsman named Nanak in

Published on Melissa Harris-Perry Blog, MSNBC. Last Saturday night, a young man dropped his wife and one-year old at home and went for a walk in Harlem. Soon thereafter, he heard “Get Osama!” Twenty men on bicycles chased him down, pulled his beard, and punched him to the ground. The blows would not stop as his assailants called him a “terrorist.” When bystanders came to his aid, he was rushed to the hospital, his face bloody and bruised, and his jaw fractured. The victim, Dr. Prabhjot Singh, is a young professor

Published on CNN. The other night was one of the most sacred and extraordinary events of my life as an advocate. A gathering of people from all around our country with one thing in common: a desire to stop the gun violence that plagues their lives and continues to plague our nation. Marking the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, young Sikhs of Oak Creek organized a candlelight vigil against gun violence at the same gurdwara where six people were murdered. One would anticipate the one-year

Published on Washington Post. With the news that two suspects of the Boston Marathon bombing are accounted for, one dead and the other in custody, I breathed a sigh of relief. A terror-stricken week that began with bombings and ended with shootouts was finally over. But the moment the suspects were identified as Muslim marked a new period of anxiety and vulnerability for millions of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans, including me. As a Sikh American who has chronicled hate crimes and profiling against our communities since Sept. 11,