|American teens beat up Sikh academic
A Sikh professor at Columbia University who had written about hate crimes against the community said he became a victim himself of a group attack in New York.
Prabhjot Singh, an assistant professor at the Ivy League university's School of International and Public Affairs, said he was assaulted Saturday evening after dropping off his wife and one-year-old son.
About 20 teenagers, some on bicycles, shouted “Get Him!'' and “Osama!'' at Singh.
Singh, 31, said that he was repeatedly punched and his beard was pulled during the attack just north of Central Park in Harlem. He spent a day in surgery for displaced teeth and other wounds.
Asked what he would say to his assailants if he encountered them, Singh said he would invite them to a Sikh temple, known as a gurdwara.
“I would ask them if they had any questions, if they knew what they were doing,'' he said.
“I think that the bottom line is when you're 14 or 15, you pick up messages all across the community,'' he said, calling for efforts to counter factors that “gave these kids the green light of hate.''
Sikhs have faced a wave of violence in the United States following the September 11, 2001 attacks, sometimes by assailants who mistakenly believe they are radical Muslims.—AFP