Professor Singh was a victim of teenage attackers who allegedly shouted anti-Muslim slurs. Singh, who is actually a Sikh rather than a Muslim, said to NBC 4:
I heard ‘Get Osama’ and then ‘terrorists,’ and then the next thing I felt was someone moving past me, ripping at my beard and then hitting me in the chin.
He attempted to escape the attackers but was overpowered and ended up on the ground. The teens continued to punch and kick Singh. The result was a fractured jaw that required surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center.
Amardeep Singh — a Sikh professor who is unrelated to Prabhjot Singh — of Leleigh University gave The Raw Story a statement regarding the difficult position of Sikhs in American culture, which is definitely hostile to anyone who happens to be of Middle Eastern descent (or appears to be), or is of Islamic faith. He also reminded us that said hostility often stretches to the media, which seems to argue that attacks against Muslims are justified. Here is the statement:
Most Sikhs in the U.S. know that they are potentially subject to verbal abuse and hostility at virtually any time, though especially in large crowds. We also know that supposedly cosmopolitan cities like New York and San Francisco are actually not any better or worse than small towns when it comes to encountering mean-spirited people and thug-like behavior. What is admittedly a surprise is when that kind of name-calling turns into something else, as seems to be what happened here.
As always, with incidents of Muslim-bashing / Sikh-bashing, it seems important not to dwell on the fact that Sikhs are not Muslims. For one thing, the attackers may not care that much one way or the other. But more importantly, one doesn’t want to sanction hateful speech or violence against any vulnerable group based on “correct” identification.
Well said, sir. There is never a justification for hate, and no one should denounce one kind of prejudice while propping up another. The crime against this Sikh professor is horrific and terrifying.
Watch a video of him speaking to NBC 4: