During the height of the panic of the Paris terror attacks this weekend, the city’s Sikh community made it clear they were open to all looking for shelter.
Residents of Paris were Tweeting #PorteOuverte – meaning Open Door – to let people know where they were welcome amidst the chaos of the night. Rohan Singh Kalsi under the Twitter name @RohanSinghKalsi tweeted;
The Tweet was re-posted thousands of times and currently stands on over 13,000 re-Tweets and over 11,000 favourites. The offer becomes more poignant considering the position Sikhs find themselves in after such incidents.
Because of the traditional physical Sikh identity which includes a turban and a beard for men, Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims, and usually fundamentalist Muslims. This rhetoric is largely based on widely shared images of the Taliban post 9/11, many of whom also kept beards and wore turbans. As such, Sikhs all over the world have been targeted for abuse and become victims of acts of reprisal by people looking to attack Muslims following incidents such as the Paris terror attacks.
Through a Facebook post Rohan made the intentions of his Tweet clear;
All Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) are open to all members of the public and also all serve food throughout the day to anyone, regardless of faith, gender, age or status.
For more information or to speak to any Paris based Sikhs, email Media@SikhPA.com.