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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 237545 Find in a Library
Title: On Common Ground: Sikh American Cultural Awareness Training for Law Enforcement (DVD)
Corporate Author: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
United States of America
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
Washington, DC 20005
US Dept of Justice, Community Relations Service
Washington, DC 20530
Contract Number: 5P-CRS-001-8107
Sale Source: Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
1413 K. Street, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Film
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This 17-minute instructional video, which is intended for use at a police roll-call session, familiarizes law enforcement personnel with the “articles of faith” of the Sikh religion, which are articles of clothing and accessories integral to the Sikh religion, but whose visibility and mistaken stereotypical views of Muslim attire and appearance may arouse terrorism-related concern among law enforcement officers as well as the general public.
Abstract: The video opens with a Sikh man in customary turban and full beard entering the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC, and proceeding to take a video of Jefferson’s statue. Observing him, a mother and her young daughter approach two law enforcement officers to report the man’s “suspicious” activity. In questioning the man, the officers determine that he is himself a law enforcement officer and is visiting Washington as a tourist. He willingly provides ID at the officers’ request. This scenario intends to show what many Sikh Americans have experienced since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Hate crimes against Sikhs in America have increased since that time. After providing background information on the Sikh religion, which originated in Northern India and has grown to be the world’s fifth largest religion, the video notes that Sikhism has no ties to either Islam or Hinduism. The main segment of the video provides instruction in Sikhism’s five “articles of faith,“ which are visible articles of clothing (turban for men and head covering for women), a steel bracelet, hair and beard styling, and the Kirpan (a small sheathed knife carried on a strap draped from one shoulder). The video emphasizes that these “articles” have strong religious significance for Sikhs and should be respected as such in any interaction with Sikhs by law enforcement officers. Sikh Americans are in all professions, serving American society.
Main Term(s): Police human relations training
Index Term(s): Cultural influences; Hate Crimes; Police-minority relations; Religion
Note: DVD: 17 minutes
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