(SACRAMENTO, CA – 7/27/2019) – The Sacramento Valley/Central California office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV/CC) today condemned an attack on a Sikh priest that occurred late Thursday on the grounds of the Gurdwara Sahib – Sikh Temple Modesto/Ceres in Hughson.

READ: Priest at Sikh Temple near Hughson assaulted in apparent hate crime (Modesto Bee)

READ: Officials: Priest attacked at Hughson Sikh temple (KCRA)

The priest, Amarjit Singh, reported that someone broke windows at his home around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. When Singh lifted the blinds, he was punched in the neck, he said. Singh also reported that the intruder said, “Go back, go back to your country.”

Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, called the attack a hate crime, but the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department said it is too early in the investigation to do so.

“We condemn this attack and stand with our Sikh brothers and sisters,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of CAIR-SV/CC. “The perpetrator reportedly used the U.S. president’s own hate-filled words – ‘Go back’ – in an attack on a Sikh priest. Hate speech coming from the highest levels of our government has endangered marginalized communities and emboldened bigots to commit acts of hatred.”

READ: ‘Go back home’: Trump aims racist attack at Ocasio-Cortez and other congresswomen (Guardian)

CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other marginalized groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.

READ: CAIR, NAACP Maryland Blast Trump’s Racist Tweets Claiming ‘No Human Being’ Would Live in Baltimore

There was a 17.4 percent spike in California hate crimes from 2016 to 2017, according to a report by the attorney general.

READ: Hate Crime in California

READ: Hate crimes rise in California for third straight year, state report says (L.A. Times)

CAIR-CA found a marked rise in anti-Muslim bias incidents in California in 2017, as detailed in its Civil Rights Report. CAIR-CA recorded an 8 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents in 2017 compared to 2016.

READ: 2018 CAIR-CA Civil Rights Report

Elkarra urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-SV/CC’s Civil Rights Department at 916-441-6269 or by filing a report at http://bit.ly/cairsvreport.

CAIR-SV/CC is an office of CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.


CONTACT: CAIR-SV/CC Communications Manager Kalin Kipling-Mojaddedi, 916-441-6269, kkipling@cair.com