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Sikh Students Labelled Terrorists In New Zealand


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New Zealand: Some Sikh men studying in Invercargill have been repeatedly labelled terrorists and racially abused to the point where one student went against his religious beliefs to protect his safety.

Five students out of a group of 25 who arrived in Invercargill this month to study at the Southern Institute of Technology said they have experienced 16 incidents of racial abuse in the past 12 days.

The five said they have all been called terrorists and told to “leave our country” by pedestrians and motorists in the city.

Four of those targeted are Sikh and wear turbans, which they said made some “ignorant” people confuse them with Arabs or Muslims and target them for racial abuse.

One victim, Jasdeep Singh, said he was forced to go against his Sikh beliefs and get a haircut to avoid wearing a turban because he feared for his safety. “I haven’t told my parents yet; they will be shocked and quite angry.”

Fellow student Jasmail Singh said he had had bomb references made to him.

Perpetrators were both male and female, generally in their early 20s, he said.

The attacks had occurred mainly on Friday and Saturday nights and had put the students off walking around the city after dark, Mr Singh said.

One of the students not attacked, Suresh Kumar, said the group had been through a lot to get to New Zealand and were not yet ready to throw it all away.

“We came here with so many dreams and we want to realise those dreams here. We just want the people of Invercargill to accept us as normal human beings,” he said. “But if this is going to continue, then who knows?”

The group said they had all encountered a lot of friendly, helpful people in the city as well, especially at SIT.

SIT business manager Bharat Guha said the institute had contacted police and was investigating ways to help its Indian students.

It was also considering getting getting their recruitment agents in India to brief new students about potential racism, he said.

SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the issue had been blown out of proportion and Southland was not the only part of the country that experienced racial abuse.

Southland police area commander Barry Taylor said racial abuse did happen in Invercargill from time to time.

However, he had never encountered 16 cases of racial abuse in 12 days before.

“I would be very disappointed if the general community was participating in this sort of thing. I’m confident it’s a small minority,” Mr Taylor said.

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Be strong fellows ...

Southern Institute of Technology is in south land and as per my knowledge numbers of sikhs in southland are much less than in northern island.

No need to worry they would got to know us pretty soon

actually local ppls there are not used to hang around with sikhs as there were very few but as this world is shrinking preety fast lots of punjabis and sikhs are migrating and moving towards these islands so as above one of my friend star singh has already mentioned that just preserve your identity and all ll be fine soon.

racial discrimination's are every where we cant do much about it even biharis and ppls from other regions are been screwed in Punjab... isnt it ??

Its into our hand to make other ppls know that whats d diffr betw sikhs and muslims ......

I think many of Ausis and Kiwis know who sikhs are after the chapter of controversy btw Harbhajan Singh and Andrew Simonds.

I hope new zealand is a good place to live in as m also planning to land up in auckland this year for my further studies.

WJKWJF

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new zealand dosnt has a large sikh population and the well settled families dont make any effort to inform others about who sikhs are. same thing happens here and then the students have to go through this.

gotta stay strong and they should turn things around, tell the local gurudwara management to help them make some pamphlets informing about sikhs and when someone gives them the looks on a train or something just give them the pamphlet. out of every 20 you give theres gotta be atleast 2 people that'll read it and there you have two more people on the streets that know who sikhs are.

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New Zealand: Some Sikh men studying in Invercargill have been repeatedly labelled terrorists and racially abused to the point where one student went against his religious beliefs to protect his safety.

Five students out of a group of 25 who arrived in Invercargill this month to study at the Southern Institute of Technology said they have experienced 16 incidents of racial abuse in the past 12 days.

The five said they have all been called terrorists and told to “leave our country” by pedestrians and motorists in the city.

Four of those targeted are Sikh and wear turbans, which they said made some “ignorant” people confuse them with Arabs or Muslims and target them for racial abuse.

One victim, Jasdeep Singh, said he was forced to go against his Sikh beliefs and get a haircut to avoid wearing a turban because he feared for his safety. “I haven’t told my parents yet; they will be shocked and quite angry.”

Fellow student Jasmail Singh said he had had bomb references made to him.

Perpetrators were both male and female, generally in their early 20s, he said.

The attacks had occurred mainly on Friday and Saturday nights and had put the students off walking around the city after dark, Mr Singh said.

One of the students not attacked, Suresh Kumar, said the group had been through a lot to get to New Zealand and were not yet ready to throw it all away.

“We came here with so many dreams and we want to realise those dreams here. We just want the people of Invercargill to accept us as normal human beings,” he said. “But if this is going to continue, then who knows?”

The group said they had all encountered a lot of friendly, helpful people in the city as well, especially at SIT.

SIT business manager Bharat Guha said the institute had contacted police and was investigating ways to help its Indian students.

It was also considering getting getting their recruitment agents in India to brief new students about potential racism, he said.

SIT chief executive Penny Simmonds said the issue had been blown out of proportion and Southland was not the only part of the country that experienced racial abuse.

Southland police area commander Barry Taylor said racial abuse did happen in Invercargill from time to time.

However, he had never encountered 16 cases of racial abuse in 12 days before.

“I would be very disappointed if the general community was participating in this sort of thing. I’m confident it’s a small minority,” Mr Taylor said.

Newzealanders are quite similar to Dutch (Holland) people. They have a beautiful country which keeps them closer to God. I feel if the new-zealanders know the sikh history, battle of Chamkaur, Shaheedi of Sahibzadas, martyrdom of 9th Maharaj, they might even start becoming sikhs. New zealanders are ENVIRONMENTAL friendly people. Nihangs (not nangs) are the best environmental friendly IN THE WORLD.

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