By Quaila Hugh, a Summer 2014 Leadership Conference Education Fund Intern
Last week, the UNITED SIKHS, a grassroots organization committed to the empowerment of the Sikh community, released the 5th annual Global Sikh Civil and Human Rights Report, which documents various civil and human rights issues members of the Sikh community face around the globe.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R. Wisc., who has been a particularly visible ally to the Sikh community following an act of domestic terrorism against a Sikh temple that occurred in his state in 2012, spoke at an event to launch the report, saying, “We need to be doing a better job of talking about tolerance… and count [the Sikh community] as partners.” He briefly discussed the difficulties Sikh individuals encounter when attempting to serve in the U.S army and argued in favor of support to all who are willing to join and serve the country.
Brian Bachman, acting director of the U.S. Department of State Office of International Religious Freedom, said that religious freedom is part of our national identity. Bachman called this freedom an ideal that the United States must continually work to live up to, and reports such as this one outlines institutional practices we need to change in order to live up to that ideal.
Read the full report here.