As a cadet, Singh filed repeatedly for a religious accommodation for his beard and turban, and was denied each time. Finally, Singh made the heartbreaking decision to shave his beard — an act Singh says he immediately regretted, but felt was necessary in order to continue his military service. Singh went on to become a highly decorated Army Ranger who distinguished himself on harrowing missions in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province helping to disarm IEDs, and in training exercises with the South Korean Army.
In 2015, Singh began work with The Sikh Coalition to once again file for his own religious accommodation from the Army to permit his articles of faith.
By now, readers of this blog are familiar with America’s rising epidemic of Islamophobic hate crimes, which target both Muslim Americans and those whom racists suspect of being Muslim. Because Sikh American men — typically of Indian descent — often wear visible articles of their faith including a turban and beard, they are part of this latter group vulnerable to Islamophobic violence.
As the year winds down to a close, these are the top ten political stories that had a major impact on the AANHPI community highlighting the many political issues that have defined the AANHPI community this year. Sadly, many didn’t receive much mainstream media coverage.
How many of these stories were you following this year?
Mukker was driving to the grocery store in the evening of September 8th when the driver of another vehicle allegedly began shouting the slurs to Mukker. When Mukker pulled over to allow the other car to pass him, the other motorist then allegedly stopped his vehicle in front of Mukker, got out and approached Mukker’s car window. He then allegedly reached into the car and repeatedly punched Mukker in the face until the elderly man lost consciousness.
After his attacker fled the scene, Mukker was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for a cheekbone fracture, multiple lacerations and contusions. He ultimately received six stitches. He has now been released from the hospital and is recuperating at home.