U.S.  President Donald Trump  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Sikhs in US safe under Trump, say community leaders

Asserting that Sikhs in the US have never been as safe as under the Trump administration, a prominent Sikh-American leader has claimed that the Biden campaign is trying to “demoralise and demotivate” the community.

Jasdip Singh, co-chair of the Sikhs for Trump, said on Monday that it was because of president Donald Trump that so many Sikh youths were serving in the US military today with their turbans and beard intact.

This is because of the steps that he has taken with regard to religious freedom and liberty. Prominent Sikh American attorney Harmeet Dhillon is co-chair of Lawyers for Trump, he said.

“Sikhs in the United States have never been as safe as under president Donald Trump. We are a martial community, no one can bully us. By saying so, the Biden campaign is trying to demoralise and demotivate us,” Singh said.

His remarks came a day after the Biden campaign launched the ”Sikh Americans for Biden”, an initiative to reach out to the Sikh community in the US. The Biden campaign vowed to address the unique challenges, including xenophobia, being faced by the Sikh community in the US.

In the November 3 presidential election, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris will challenge incumbent Republican President Trump and vice president Mike Pence.

Singh claimed that a Biden-Harris administration would be anti-Sikh.

“Kamala Harris as a California Attorney General fought against the job of a Sikh Trilochan Singh Oberoi with his beard and turban intact. Harris asked him to shave his beard and choose between faith and livelihood. Despite being of Indian origin, she is anti-Sikh,” he said, adding that Sikhs cannot support Biden or Harris because those are “not Sikh values”.

“I want to address all my Sikh brothers and sisters who are questioning me that how being a Sikh I am supporting Trump. I want to ask them a question, how they being Sikh are supporting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who are supporting and promoting weed and drug culture, who support abortion, even late term abortion, abortions at birth, who are supporting same sex marriages. Are these Sikh values?” he asked.

Singh, who is also a businessman, said as part of the 2020 election campaign he has been travelling to some of the remote parts of the US and his turban and beard have never been so welcomed.

“Everywhere I go from Pennsylvania to Ohio, even in the remote parts of the country, people welcome us. Trump supporters have given me so much love and affection like never before. I represent Sikh and India with my turban, he said.

Singh, who launched ”Sikhs for Trump” in 2016, claimed Trump had very strong support from the community.

“Sikh truckers in the US are now supporting president Trump. president Trump has personally acknowledged and thanked the support of the Sikh/Indian American community,” he said, claiming that this year more than 50 per cent of the community members are supporting Trump.

Trump’s policies and vision for America resonated with Indian and Sikh values, he said.

Kanwaljit Singh Rekhi, a Sikh leader, said all minority groups in US have benefited from Trump’s economic recovery plan.

“Small minority businesses mostly owned by South Asians survived during the pandemic due to president Trump’s aggressive economic recovery plan,” he said.

According to Baljinder Singh, another Sikh leader, Trump signed the Religious Freedom Act, which opened doors for Sikh members to serve in the US military and other law enforcement agencies, keeping their turbans and beard intact.

Jasdeep Singh said that both the Trump administration and Trump Campaign respected Sikhs.