Ottawa (April 6, 2018): The World Sikh Organization of Canada is deeply concerned by reports of an attack on a 91-year-old turban-wearing Sikh in northeast Calgary which took place on March 16. According to reports, Harjit Singh Rai was assaulted and had his turban knocked off as he was visiting a grocery store near Temple Drive N.E. A suspect has been taken into custody.
This is the second racially motivated attack reported to have taken place against a Sikh in the month of March in Canada. On March 23, a Sikh man in Ottawa was attacked by two suspects who threatened to cut his beard and hair, assaulted him and then stole his turban along with his phone and bus pass.
Over the past several weeks, the WSO has repeatedly expressed concern that intolerance towards Sikhs is on the rise in Canada.
WSO Vice President for Alberta, Tejinder Singh Sidhu said today, “the assault on Mr. Rai is the second assault on a Sikh to be reported in recent weeks. We have repeatedly warned that intolerance against Sikhs is on the rise in Canada due to recent, false accusations of extremism and radicalism against the community. The removal of the turban is considered a very serious insult. We hope that this crime is fully investigated as a hate crime. It is important that members of the Sikh community remain vigilant in the wake of these attacks.”
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights for all individuals, irrespective of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, and social and economic status