Hello, Today I am declaring victory for our cause. It is not because President Obama has contacted me or done anything specific due to this petition, it is because of the overwhelming support the cause has received. The ultimate goal we had in signing this petition was to raise awareness, and send a message to the rest of America. Hate for anyone living in America will not be tolerated. President Obama did issue the Flag Proclamation where he ordered all flags at every government institution to be flow at half mast. This was an incredible gesture and proves that the President does indeed agree with all of us. He too wants to raise awareness and will not stand for hate directed toward any American. After emailing various sources that could have promoted the petition, only two responded. Two talk shows on a TV network called "Jus TV" covered the petition. I would like to thank Madhavi Gupta and Arvind Kaur for helping us promote the petition on TV. However it is also important to note the greatest source of publicity we had. Many of you have posted this on Facebook, some have even made groups where they invited thousands of people. Without the support from all of you, we could not have gotten the amount of signatures that we did. And so, remember that we achieved this victory of spreading knowledge on our own, proving that as long as all of us does our part, we can end ignorance around the world. And so, although we did not technically achieve the grandiose goal of getting the President to visit the Gurdwara we must remember something. This petition was indeed a success. Garnering over 2000 signatures in 5 days shows how strong knit a country we are. Awareness has been spread and again, it could not have been done without you all. Although the petition will be closed, that doesn't mean we have to stop spreading knowledge to combat ignorance. Remember to help anyone that any of you meets that is ignorant and patiently explain that any American is an American, regardless of race, religion, or any other criteria. Thank you, Gurkaran Chotalla
On August 5th, 2012, a gunman walked into a Gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI (Sikh place of worship) and opened fire. His actions resulted in six innocent lives lost, three in critical condition. Thanks to the bravery of a local police officer, the gunman was killed and prevented from causing more harm.
The fact remains, however, that these actions need to be responded to quickly and emphatically by the American people. It is clear that there is much hate left-over from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In order to bring an end to this hate in America, a public leader needs to bring attention to this issue and send out a strong message to the country. I believe the person for the job is President Obama. If the President goes and stands in solidarity with the victims of this heinous crime, and openly shows his support for any and all victims of hate since the 9/11 attacks, we may be able to bring an end to this ignorance.
Sikhism, specifically, is a monotheistic religion that originated over 500 years ago in India. Some of the basic tenants of the religion include equality for all men and women alike, acceptance of all other faiths, and leaving their hair unshaven and uncut as they believe it is a gift from God. There are approximately 700,000 Sikhs in the United States, and about 25 million worldwide making it the 5th largest religion in the world.
It is, however, the appearance the victims that led to the massive amount of misunderstanding that they faced. Ignorance is the root problem of the situation, and no victim of any hate crime had anything to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Over 90% of the people in the USA that wear turbans are Sikhs. Unfortunately, it seems a sizable amount of the population associate a turban with a terrorist. Or brown skin with a bad person. It is this type of ignorance that leads to the hatred of innocent people. It should be noted that this petition is requesting to end ignorance for ALL affected victims of Islamophobia, Sikhs and Muslims alike (in addition to any other people that have been affected).
TO THE SIGNERS OF THIS PETITION: I realize this may be a lofty goal. However, we must recognize that even if the ultimate goal is not reached, we can still raise awareness. By getting as many people possible to sign the petition, we are sending a message on our own. Therefore, the goal of stopping ignorance can still be achieved simply by all of us doing our part and spreading this information.
And so, President Obama, as the signers of this petition we request that you visit the Gurdwara in Oak Creek, WI to help the fight against ignorance. By doing so, you will most certainly bring awareness to many people, in addition to boosting the morale of those affected by such hate.