In the days, months, and now years following the events of September 11th, 2001, discrimination against the Sikh community in America has escalated sharply, due in part to a populace that often confuses Sikhs, compelled by their faith to wear turbans, with the Muslim extremists responsible for the devastating terrorist attacks. Although Sikhs have since mobilized to spread awareness and condemn violence against themselves and Muslims, there has been a conspicuous absence of academic literature to aid scholars and commentators in understanding the effect of the backlash on the Sikh community. This volume provides a unique window onto this particular minority group's experience in an increasingly hostile climate, and offers a sharp analysis of the legal battles fought by Sikhs in post-9/11 America. In doing so, it adds a new chapter to the ongoing national story of the difficulties minority groups have faced in protecting their civil liberties in times of war.
Dawinder S. Sidhu is Founding Director of the Discrimination and National Security Initiative, Pluralism Project, at Harvard University, and an attorney whose practice focuses on individual rights and national security.
'In Civil Rights in Wartime: The Post 9/11 Sikh Experience, authors Sidhu and Gohil remind America of the need to guard closely against the human propensity to let ignorance and fear prevail against our better sensibilities, especially during wartime. They provide a much-needed and valuable contribution to our awareness of how times of war can all too often obscure even the most fundamental liberties. Raised in the Japanese-American internment camps during WWII, I second the authors’ call for increased vigilance. The Sikh-American experience must be our last, not merely our latest, breach of civil rights. We can, and must, do better.' United States Congressman Michael Honda 'After 9/11, those who were perceived to be Muslim - including turban-wearing Sikhs - suffered from discrimination around the world. This illuminating and troubling book explores the range of discrimination experienced by Sikhs and examines legal and political solutions. It should galvanize the Sikh civil rights movement - and everyone who cares about liberty and justice in an age of terror.' Jeffrey Rosen, author of The Unwanted Gaze and The Naked Crowd