Tuesday 12 January 2016

How racism is making a comeback, and exploiting tensions between Sikhs and Muslims

Around four months ago, 12-year-old Armaan Singh Sarai and his parents moved to a suburb in Dallas, Texas and they enrolled him into the local school. They were especially worried about his future, as he had a condition that had already required three open heart surgeries.
Last Friday, another child at school made a joke about Armaan concealing a bomb. The school immediately called the police without even questioning him. They in turn put him in a juvenile facility without informing his parents, who only found out after he was late that evening and called the school. Their child spent three days in the facility. 
When Armaan’s parents complained of excessive force, the local police blamed the pupils for making a joke and said they had to take every threat seriously. The episode only came to light after a cousin took to Facebook to express shock at the way the family had been treated and her post went viral.
Such incidents are being shared on social media with alarming regularity. On 3 December, another American Sikh, Valarie Kaur, was almost pulled off a flight after a man complained about suspicious activity while she was using her breast-pump. On the same day a Muslim woman in Boston, Massachusetts was taking the bus when a man shouted: “She has a bomb in there! Women are doing it too now, don’t you see the news?” She wrote on Facebook that she had to show her Harvard ID and computers to other passengers before they backed off.

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