Sikhs as a Firewall for Hate Crime

By the time this reaches you, you would likely already have heard about the heinous hate crime attack on a Sikh professor from Columbia University in New York. All too predictably, the attackers referred to the victim as "Osama" and "terrorist".

In building construction, a firewall is built as a barrier to prevent a fire in one part of the building from spreading through the rest of the building.

Building on the analogy (no pun), in Web or Internet technology, which is where I earn my living, a firewall is used as a first line of defense to block unauthorized access from sources that wish to perpetuate attacks of various kinds on a Web site.

I have borrowed the term "firewall" to describe the role Sikhs have played, from their origin leading up to current times.

The Sikh religion was formed, in some part, due to the dire need to protect India's predominant Hindus against unrelenting attacks from Muslim invaders from Mongolia, Persia, and beyond.

Fast forward to today. And we find that, in America and in other Western nations, Sikhs have become a perpetual "mistaken identity" for Muslims and have faced uncountable "mistaken identity" attacks (starting with Meso, Arizona). In doing so, unwitting Sikhs have served as a canary in a coal mine, warning the Muslim community of what awaits them once the firewall melts and is no longer able to stop the spread of the fire.


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