Sikh mistaken for Muslim, abused and harassed
A 22-year-old Sikh, studying at the prestigious Harvard Law School, was allegedly abused and harassed at a store near the campus by a man who mistook him for a Muslim.
Harmann Singh, a first year law student at the university, said he was shopping in a store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while speaking on the phone with his mother, when a man walked in and said to the clerk behind the counter, “Oh look, there’s a (expletive) Muslim.”
“Over the weekend, I was confronted by a man who called me a ‘(expletive) Muslim’ and followed me around a store aggressively asking where I was from, and and no one in the store said a thing. I was on the phone with my mom the entire time, and we were both concerned for my safety as this man stood inches away from me,” Singh wrote about his experience in The Boston Globe.
“While deeply painful, what happened to me pales in comparison to the hate and violence many of my brothers and sisters have faced across the country,” he wrote. According to Singh, the man started following him around the store, harassing him and asking him where he was from. Singh, who is from Buffalo, New York, said he tried to ignore the man and continue his conversation with his mother, who was worried.
Singh said the man followed him to the checkout counter. “I told him, ‘Hey I’m actually from New York. I live here now down the street. Is there anything I can do to help you?’” Singh said.
The man did not respond and Singh left the store as quickly as possible. He said the most effective way to help people who feel marginalised is to “be there for each other in these moments”.