Sikh-American praises Obama for standing with the community

Washington: A leading member of the Sikh- American community has praised US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle for standing with the Sikh community during a challenging time in the eight years of his presidency.

“Their (Obamas) standing with the community during a challenging time in the aftermath of the attack on the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek will always be a highpoint in this presidency,” Rajwant Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, said yesterday.

On August 5, 2012, a gunman with ties to white supremacist groups walked into the gurdwara of Wisconsin and began a rampage which killed six people, wounded many, and terrorised the Sikh community.

“It was important to say thanks to the Obamas for their support to the Sikh community in the last eight years,” said Singh, who attended the Christmas Party with the President and the First Lady Michelle at the White House early this week.
Singh was accompanied by Arvind Singh, a member of the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation.

In response to Singh asking President Obama to allow Sikhs in the US Armed Forces, Obama said, “I understand it and I am doing everything I can”.

Several senior officials of the Obama Administration have been nudging and pushing the Pentagon to change its policy on facial hair and headgear. During the interaction, Singh invited Michelle Obama to visit a Sikh congregation.

“We will be honoured to come. We will certainly come if not before but certainly once we leave the White House. It is really busy and we are trying to do all the packing,” the First Lady said according to a media release.

Over 20 lawmakers from the Capitol Hill had sent a letter to Obama in October asking him to visit a Sikh Gurdwara to create awareness about the community and which would help deter hate crimes against the Sikhs.