A Dream in Doubt: Post 9/11 Hate Crimes and the Sikh Temple Shooting

By Rebecca Huval
Posted on August 8, 2012

After Sunday’s tragic shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, Global Voices remembers the first hate crimes perpetrated against Sikhs in a post 9/11 America in the Independent Lens film A Dream in Doubt, now available on PBS video player.

Rana Singh Sodhi with his wife and children, holding a photo of his murdered brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi.

Communities in America and internationally have been mourning the deaths from the shooting rampage in a Sikh temple on Sunday morning, when Wade Page, 40, shot six people and wounded three in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Sikhs have long been a misunderstood group. Especially after September 11, they have been targeted in anti-Muslim violence, because uniformed perpetrators believe their long beards and turbans are related to Islam (they are not), and therefore, terrorism. Eight hundred incidents of violence, threats, vandalism, and arson have occurred post-9/11 against “persons perceived to be Muslim or Sikh, or of Arab, Middle Eastern or South Asian origin,” according to the Justice Department. The Independent Lens documentary A Dream in Doubt puts a face on this exact issue. The film follows the Sikh family of Rana Singh Sodhi, whose brother was killed in a Phoenix gas station four days after 9/11. Sodhi seeks justice for his brother and a greater awareness of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded in 16th century India. Watch the trailer (after the jump) to learn more. 


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