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Sikh Uber Driver Claims Passenger Pulled Gun On Him

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Looks like things don't change in the 'Land of the Free'

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/sikh-uber-driver-passenger-gunpoint_us_5a85e21ae4b004fc319027dc

Sikh Uber Driver Claims Passenger Pulled Gun On Him, Said, 'I Hate Turban People'

Gurjeet Singh says he is traumatized, the Sikh Coalition reports.

 
5a8604f71e00002c007abd5e.jpeg?cache=GzFYh2wmtL&ops=crop_0_423_1500_1406,scalefit_630_noupscaleSIKH COALITION Gurjeet Singh, a Sikh religious leader from Illinois, claims he was assaulted while driving for Uber in January.

A Sikh Uber driver claims he was held at gunpoint on the job by a male passenger who asked questions about his national origin and allegiance to America.

 

Gurjeet Singh, a religious leader from northwestern Illinois, said the passenger put a gun to his head on a nighttime ride on Jan. 28 and stated, “I hate turban people; I hate beard people.”

 

Singh wears a turban and a beard as signs of devotion to his Sikh faith. 

The Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the alleged assault but has yet to make an arrest. In the meantime, the local Sikh community is troubled that the armed suspect remains free, according to the Sikh Coalition, a national advocacy organization that is representing Singh. 

 

“We do still remain concerned that no arrest has been made and the State’s Attorney’s Office has yet to file hate crime charges,” the Sikh Coalition’s legal director and Singh’s lawyer Amrith Kaur said in a statement. “Mr. Singh and the local Sikh community have the right to feel safe. The reality is that hate crimes are not only attacks on individuals; they affect the entire community. They make all of us less safe, and everybody should be outraged by this.”  

Singh came to the U.S. three years ago to serve the Sikh community in the Quad City area on the Mississippi River as a granthi, an individual who helps lead Sikh congregations through hymns and prayers. He’s a legal resident of the U.S., Kaur said. In late December, Singh, who has a wife and a toddler, started driving with Uber to supplement his income.
5a8606322000003800eaf027.jpeg?ops=crop_0_261_1200_960,scalefit_630_noupscaleSIKH COALITION Gurjeet Singh has lived in the U.S. for three years. He has a wife and a toddler.

At 10:39 p.m. on Jan. 28, Singh reportedly picked up two passengers ― a male and a female ― next to a tavern in Moline, Illinois. According to the Sikh Coalition, the man started interrogating Singh about his origins, asking questions like, “Which country do you belong to?” and “Do you serve our country or do you serve your country?”

Singh, who speaks limited English, was “confused and scared” by the questions. He explained that he was Sikh and that he serves both the U.S. and his home country of India, since his parents still live there.

“The attacker’s behavior escalated more and more as Mr. Singh tried to inform him about his religion, about the tenets of Sikhism, why he wore a turban,” Kaur told HuffPost. “As that went on, the attacker became more and more incensed, to the point where he pulled out a gun.” 

The woman in the car then “forcibly removed” the male passenger from the vehicle, the coalition said. She then apologized for the male passenger’s behavior and told Mr. Singh to drop her at home and to avoid taking the same route back to eliminate another encounter with the man.

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