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Sikh American Family Attacked in Queens, Police Call it Bias

August 12, 2003

Surinder Singh, a Sikh cab driver, his wife, two children and a cousin were attacked and beaten up in Queens last week by white male assailants who told them "Bin laden family, go back to your country."

Surinder Singh and his family were spat on and told to go back home. The incident occurred in Queens, New York, late on the 3rd of August outside the apartment of the victims.

Police said bias might have motivated the attackers, who were described by the victims as white men. 41 year old Surinder Singh has been in the US for seventeen years and is a green card holder-one of his children and his wife are US citizens. 41 year old Singh who is one of many Sikh cab drivers in New York city wears a turban like most of the 500,000 Sikhs in the US and the 22 million worldwide. The attack lasted about four minutes before neighbours, hearing shouts, called the police, while a pizza deliveryman who was passing by intervened and tried to get the attackers off Gill.

This is only the latest in a continuing wave of attacks against people who are Muslim or perceived to be Muslim. The New York based Sikh Coalition an advocacy group has been documenting such cases. Just three days after September 11 Balbir Singh Sodhi an immigrant a Sikh immigrant in Arizona was murdered and just two weeks ago the trial dates for one of the prime suspects in that case Frank Roque a Mesa man who admitted to killing Singh was delayed. A court delay in that case also means the widow of Balbir Singh Sodhi may not be able to attend Frank Roque’s death penalty trial because her visa extension will have expired.

  • Surinder Singh, New York city cab driver who was attacked in Queens last Sunday as he walked home with his family in Queens.
  • Aarti Shahani, works with Families for Freedom in New York and actively engages in deportation and immigration work with communities across the US.


Sikh Coalition

Sikh Mediawatch and Resource Task Force.

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